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Full text of "Note books on farming"

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Subject ..rr..^Y>K.i%>4^ 

Instructor ~T! 

J. L. Hammett Co., Cambridge and Newark 



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oi manures and the function of garden 

Bulbous plants have a chapter to thrushes, as 
rns— which rarely flourish in town gardens — 
climbing plants and trees and shrubs. 

VEGETABLE GROWING. By James Edwabd 

Knott. 8,} 5|, 352 pp. Kimpton. l.v 

rk for agricultural students, by the Research 
98or of VegetabL omell 

Uni verity. 

HISTORY 

THE LIFE BTOBY OF BHK.HA.M YOUNG. 
Mormon Leader, Founder of Salt Lake City, and 



Builder of an Empire in 
Wastes of Western America, 
s (one of his daughters*. 



the Uncharted 

By Si sa Ydi-v; 




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Carbon Dioxide as a Preservative, 
Solid carbon dioxide may prove a 
possible aid in reducing the spoilage 

>t fruits and vegetables in transit. 

The United States Department of 
Agriculture says that the carbon 
dioxide gas from this refrigeration 
gives added protection when supple- 
menting ice. Dr. Charles Brooks, 
plant pathologist of the Bureau of 
Plant Industry, found that about 300 
pounds of solid carbon dioxide placed 
in a refrigerator car loaded with 
warm fruit will increase the carbon 
dioxide content of the air sufficiently 
within an hour to check rotting and 
softening as much as would a drop 
of 20 to 30 degrees in temperature. 
The action of the gas in checking 
spoilage ceases after normal atmos- 
phere is restored, but by that time 
the car has been fairly well cooled 
by ice and further spoilage is pre- 
vented by the usual methods of re- 
frigeration. If the gas has largely 
escaped from the car within eighteen 
to twenty-four hours no objectionable 
flavor is likely to result, although 
peaehes, strawberries, apricots and 
red raspberries easily lose flavor and 
become "flat" and insipid under ex- 
treme treatments. 





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Raises Cotton in New Hampshire. 

FRANKLIN, N. H., July 22 <JP).~ 
Homesick for Texas, Mrs. Alfred , 
Ayer, county home demnostration. 
agent, has succeeded in raising: the 
garden products of her native State 
in the soil of New Hampshire. She ' 
has successfully raised sugar cane, 
cotton, watermelon, okra and pea- 
nuts in a season almost too cold for 
native products. 



years. 

EXPLAINS CARE OF HERBS 



Department of Agriculture Tells 
How to Grow Them in Winter. 

Savory herbs growing in the gar- 
den may be brought indoors for the 
Winter and planted in flower pots 
or window boxes in a sunny 
window, says a plant specialist of 
the United States Department of 
Agriculture. «. 

During recent years there has 
been revived interest in aromatic 
herbs for flavoring soups, meat 
dishes and salads, and it is a great 
convenience to be able to pick a 
few savory leaves right in the 
kitchen. Mint, thyme, tarragon, 
sage, dill, chives, watercress and 
rose geranium are as popular today 
for flavoring as they were in Colo- 
nial times, although not as much 
"store is set" by medicinal herbs 
now as then. Some of the herbs 
may be dried for Winter use, says a 
bulletin from the Department of 
Agriculture. 

The best herbs to grow in a 
window are mint, watercress, par- 
sley, chives, sweet marjoram, basil 
and rose geranium. They should be 
transferred indoors before freezing 
weather into a soil consisting of 
one part sharp sand, one part well- 
rotted cow manure and two or three 
parts of good garden loam. A very 
small quantity of bone meal may be 
added. The soil should be mixed 
thoroughly and screened through a 
coarse screen. 



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LITTLE-TREE FARMS ATTRACTS 

THOUSANDS 

Since Little-Tree Farms in Framing- 
ham Centre has adopted their popular 
cash and carry policy, literally thous- 
ands have driven out to the Farms, 
made their selections, loaded the plants 
ahd headed for home again in a gen- 
uinely happy frame of mind. Substan- 
tially reduced prices and the mainten- 
ance of their usual high quality have 
caused thousands to be attracted to 
the "plant-mart" at the Farms. 

Scores of varieties- -hundreds of 
plants including roses, perennials, 
flowering shrubs and decorative ever- 
greens may be found on display await- 
ing the inspection and selection by the 
many visitors at the Farms. 

The rirea devoted to the "plant mart" 
has recently been extended to more 
than twice what seemed adequate a few 
short weeks ago. Here may be found 
plants to satisfy every conceivable home 
decorative need. 

Adjoining the "plant mart" is the 
big glass garden store, the only one of 
its kind in the country. This beautiful 
and unique building is devoted chiefly 
to the display of garden pottery in rich 
and distinctive colors, wrought iron 
work, garden tools of all descriptions, 
horticultural books, bird houses and 
garden furniture. 

Visitors and guests at the Farms are 
a'mazed at the superb beauty of the dis- 
play, the high quality of the plants, 
and the moderateness of the prices. 



LOCAL ITEMS 



Mrs. 
're^ 



Charles F. Hasey 
°sident °"* 



Of ^""'Xter 



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| learn 
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tribut" 

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gene, 
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A. B. ROSS 

ITTORNEY-AT-U/ 
BAUA-CYNWYD, PA. 



Mr. Richard B.Gregg. 
Bemis, Tenn. 

Dear Sir: 



March 18th, 1929 



me by Minton,Balch & Co, and 



Your letter has been forwarded t( 
only reached me this morning. 

Cynwyd Station is 6 miles from the Broad Street Station of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad; and if you will phone me I will be glad to have 
an interview. Unfortunately I live in an apartment and have not been 
able for the past two years to get ground for a garden. Also much of my 
work has kept me in western Pennsylvania, so that I doubt if a garden 



would do either of us much good. 



The book itself is rather a prophecy or forecast than a system 
:n our own people will follow today. After I had written it I got 
, through a friend, of "Farmers of Forty Centuries" by Dr.Kino° of 
Wisconsin. It is published by the Democrat Publishing Co., of Madison. 
It describes the three-crop system of farming in various uarts of China-" 
nrithout analysis of the factors of efficiency. ' 

Another book of greet value as throwing light on the subject 
is "The Law of Diminishing Returns", published for $1 by the World Book Co 
of Yonkers-on Hudson, New York. This also I procured after I had writ- 
ten the book on Gardening. I suspect that the writing of the book sprung 
out of a series of articles I had written for the Farm Journal, Dr-Spillman 
and I feeing closely associated and in sympathy with the subject matter of 
the articles. 

The system, of gardening takes into account a number of elements... 
the sun- power as an increasing and diminishing power plant for grortth- the 
intensive planting as a means of great water conservation and use, the side 
by side placing of finishing and starting crops, for better utilization of 
the elements of time and space, catalysis through the mixture of various 
elements of fertiliser and the inoculation of the legumes, the increase of 
soil fertility through constant root additions in place of manure the 
retention of soil balance through a rotation within a single year, and cer- 
tain other factors of productivity the importance and proofs of which I 
have worked out since writing the book, and which I hope to oublish, along 
pith other new matter, in a book on which I have been working for about 
six years. u 



There is no reason why the system cannot be worked out for inten- 
sive trucking in which proper machinery replaces horse power, althoup-h 
of course, not to the same extent as where the man and the hoe do the worl 
+ Ln 1S & .™- tte l of Eventing machinery for quantity production: the presenl 
tools will not do the work efficiently. And hand labor, for a long time 



A. B. ROSS 

iTTORNE Y- AT- LAW 

BALA-CYNWYD, PA. 



to come,will be prohibitive in cost; oerhaps we will never have to go ha* 

ble only tS"^^!^.?^^ 1 ^ £j. *f «°?% ? *?* is ^~ 
every step taken in the |ardef n^fto'be w?S oJX^ * T theB ' bUt 

a year, however, are' easv to get and without th» So J h I ee crops 
destruction where one becomes 6 ?oo SmbltioSs S6rS ° f trara P in S and 

cy to^.^^^J5?is*i« j^ S. a !SS 1 S h : t jp 1 - d »}• •«*•*■ 

.tmue to occupy us until the oinch of neoessitv fo^2 fl elc and will con- 
methods. . .and that seems to me a low to? in tL SfSJ! US t0 im P rov e our 
the use of modern transportation me?hoS JL h f distance. We, through . 

sections as our source/of foo?supol? and If^^f Ce £ tain favore ^ 
which could compete with better methods hL, 5™*' £ 0t !° fevored but 
will in my opinion, centime Lr^ery long Ume? lecau^tf 6 ™' Th&t 
tumties so to improve rathe methods of iv+tSow ' , e 2? use there are oppor-> 

growing needs for a long lime to coml production as to meet our 

Mng to ,o?s: ^tS^cs^oi: ss s°^rsit tB wh v re not wn - 

the generality of producers. slowly but surely reacting on 

but hope tffi weTll P ^ f^lnJe lorVoo^f " T C0Uld «° on > ° f •<>»••! 
me what questions you ha^ ?„ "STanaVwnf do^betf to^" 7 ° U Ca " aS * 

answer. BUi uo m y best to give you an 

Phia, and St rn^nV where f c^me^ou" " JVt^ J™? la Philadel " 
do so. For the next six weeks I «IK in J * m in the City X wil1 

in the mountain district of lennsylvS!a tLTi ,t f>°?. deal <>* my time 
lands and valuing them for certain Is?at4 8 LlJt Vf * lng ° ver SOme 
good deal of time. estates large tracts which take a 

interior of'lSi.^a^J^Se^Sj ITl *?»?* 2? *«*«*** in the 
is that, in this temperate section I rainfall «? ™^ ga * i0n : My own view 
for full growth during all h , ndt. ° f 3 ° lncheB is ^ uite enough 

consistent with a fail SJitSSuS^S su^hV^in ?£"** *? Cl ° Sely as 
regions, of course, heavier ^nfSl ^^^^? 1 ;^^.*^^ 

Very truly yours, 




-\JUL 







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Mothballs Keep Mosquitoes 
from Descending Chimney 

MALARIA-BEARING mosquitoes emu- 
late Santa Claus in some parts of the 
South. When they find doors and windows 
screened, they come down the chimney 
seeking whom they may devour, and bear- 
ing unwelcome gifts of "fever V ague." 
But you can keep them out by hanging 
a little basket of naphthalene, the stuff 
mothballs are made of, at the top of the 
chimney. They hate it, and will zoom out 
of its range as soon as they smell it, no 
matter how much good biting may lie 
slumbering below. This is one of the curi- 
ous facts about mosquito behavior which 
have been learned by the United States 
Public Health Service. 

Not all mosquitoes will enter houses by 
coming down chimneys, and it is not known 
whether all of them can be driven off with 
naphthalene. One species, however, re- 
sponds in this way, Anopheles quadrimacu- 
latus, the four-spotted malaria mosquito. 
But she is important enough to make this 
bit of entomological knowledge very much 
worth having. — Science Service. 

"Boundary" Rays Reveal 









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GIANT VEGETABLES 
REPO RTED BY S OVIET 

New Farm Method Is Said to 

Increase Size and Yield 

[Ten and Twelve Fold. 



MANY TONS TO THE ACRE 



Extra Rich Fertilizer Is Used and 
I Plant Growth Is on Framt 
Work Above Weeds. 



By WALTER DURANTY. 

Wirelesi to The New Tore Times. 
' MOSCOW, Aug. 3.— The newspaper 
Jzvestia has discovered a Russian 
Luther Burbank named Zolotof work- 
ing at an experimental cotton planta- 
tion near Bokhara. If half what Is 
asserted in a four-column article 
written by Zolotoi's associate, Agron- 
ofski, Is true the Soviet Union could 
lead the world in cotton production 
within ten years. 

Agronofski declared the Zolotof 
method has produced an average of 
five tons of cotton an acre, ten to 
twelve times greater than last year's 
average in the Bokhara region. Ex- 
periments with other plants produced 
120 tons of potatoes an acre, 110 tons 
pf tomatoes, 90 tons of Egyptian 
beetroot, 175 tons of cucumbers, &c. 

The tomatoes weighed two and a 
quarter to three pounds each, cab- 
bages weighed eight to fifty pounds, 
and betroots ten and a half. Egg- 
plants grew a yard and a half long 
and twenty feet high and tobacco 
eix feet or more, with 150 leaves to 
the stem and an acre's yield of dried 
|eaf was seven tons. 

The method consists mainly in. set- 
ting the plants of any culture in soil 
piled with a sort of wattle frame- 
work of canes and cane piping, 
through which irrigation water per- 
colates to feed the plants from be- 
low. This, it is asserted, eliminates 
weeds and the cumbrous weeding 
now required three times a season. 
The method also permits f o ur fold 
denser planting and the hot sun and 
fertile soil of the section, which once 
was the garden of the world does the 
rest. 



Agronofski says the initial rW f 
preparation, plus seed and fertlizer, 
amounts to 700 roubles ($350 at par) 
an acre, but will last for five years, 
thus reducing the cost to 140 rubles 
a year. Taking the lowest price for 
cotton, he calculates a return of 2,000 
rubles an acre yearly. With metallic 
wattle and tubing, which cost no 
more than cane if prodlced on a 
mass scale but which would last 
twenty-five years instead of five, the 
cost per acre would be correspond- 
ingly reduced. 

Agronofski demands first, that 
representatives of State farms and 
collectives and agricultural experts 
be sent to Zolotof's station to in- 
vestigate for themselves, second that 
more ample funds be placed at his 
disposal and an adequate number of 
Qualified hands, third that all col- 
lectives in Centrasia be ordered to 
try Zolotof method on at least one 
acre and State farms on at least 100 
acres, and fourth that a new State 
farm be formed at first with only 
500 or 1,000 acres to use the Zolotof 
method exclusively with metal tubing 
and 100 per cent mechanization. 

This correspondent understands 
that the Commissariat of Agriculture 
is profoundly interested and proposes 
to follow these suggestions. 




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Rats can be banished from the cellar 
by using chloride of lime. Sprinkle lib- 
erally on the cellar floor, or wherever 
their haunts are suspected to be. 



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|T-JDUA. 



KNOWLES A. RYERSON 

U. S Department of Agriculture 



In Charge office of 

FOREIGN PUNT INTRODUCTION BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY 







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MHiMHI 



THE NEW YORK TIMES, TH 



ADVISES ON SOIL TESTS. 



Agriculturist Says Holes Give Clue 
to Good Orchard Sites. 

Bore a hole in th« ground and 
watch the water level during April, 
May and June before making a 
final decision to plant an apple or- 
chard on a prospective site, Joseph 
Oskamp of the New York State 
College of Agriculture, advises in a 
bulletin from Ithaca. The holes, he 
says, give two important clues as 
to the suitability of the soil to grow 
a profitable fruit crop. Some soils 
will grow trees but not profitable 
crops, he warns. 

It is a common experience to find 
water rising in a post hole within 
a half hour after the hole is dug. 
The water rises to a point where it 
remains stationary, and may re- 
main at the same point for days or 
weeks. The temporary water table 
is called ground water. Professor 
Oskamp recommends the boring 
of holes four feet deep with an 
inch-and-a-half auger. The test 
wells should be protected against 
surface run-in and should be well 



distributed over the prospective 
site. Well-drained soils have little 
ground water in the surface four 
feet; the level varies in imperfectly 
drained soils from one to three 
feet, while the poorest drained soils 
are usually water-logged within 
nine to eighteen inches of the sur- 
face. 

A quicker way to examine such 
soils is to study the soil make-up 
as borings are made. If the sur- 
face four feet is of a uniform color, 
usually some shade of brown, and 
has no sharply defined changes, 
the indications point to a good or- 
chard soil. Such soils are generally 
loams or sandy loams. Where the 
water has been slow to drain, the 
subsoil is spotted or mottled, and 
the more gray mottling present the 
poorer the drainage. Kusty iron- 
colored nodules, about the size of 
a grain of wheat, are further evi- 
dence of poor drainage. Fields 
containing more than a small pro- 
portion of such soils are unsatis- 
factory for fruit. 



THE WEATHER 





WASHINGTON, D. C, Jan. 25 | 
UP).— The disturbance that was cen- | 
tral over Arkansas Tuesday night 
has advanced to Eastern Virginia 



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HOMESTEAD HELD 
BEST INVESTMENT 




Garden Digest 

—the "garden magazine of 
all garden magazines"— be- 
cause it condenses helpful 
articles of lasting value from 
scores of magazines. Garden 
Digest is your private secre- 
tary — always watching for 
the best. Sample, 10 cents. 
One year, $1.00. 
GARDEN DIGEST. 109-B Great Oak Lane 
Pleasantville, N. Y. 



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Ralph Borsodi Writes of His 

'Self-Sufficient' Home in 

the Country. 



RAISES NOTHING TO SELL 



People Can Make Two-thirds of 
Things They Use Cheaper Than 
They Can Buy Them, He Says. 



The migration of millions of per- 
sons in this country back and forth 
between city and country is evi- 
dence of profound dissatisfaction 
with living conditions both in the 
country and in the city, according 
to Ralph Borsodi, author of "Flight 
From the City," just published by 
Harper & Brothers. 

In this book the author discusses 
the so-called "Borsodi experiment" 
which has attracted wide attention. 
sodio-.Brmfwy mfwy mfwy p — 
Some twelve years ago Mr. Borsodi 
move his family from New York to 
Suffern, where they established a 
self-sufficient homestead. The book 
discusses in detail the small amount 
of capital involved, the equipment 



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for gardening, weaving and other 
domestic production needed, and 
how to plan and select articles for 
I home manufacture. Mr. Borsodi is 
the author of "The Distribution 
Age" and "This Ugly Civilization," 
to the latter of which the present 
volume is a sequel. As consulting 
economist in Dayton, Ohio, the au- 
thor has been instrumental in the 
extension of his idea to many fam- 
ilies of unemployed. 

Raise Nothing to Sell. 

"In certain important respects," 
Mr. Borsodi explains, "our experi- 
ment was very different from the 
ordinary back-to-the-land adven- 
ture. We quickly abandoned all ef- 
forts to raise anything to sell. Af- 
ter the first year, during which we 
raised some poultry for the market, 
this became an inviolable principle. 
We produced only for our own con- 
sumption. If we found it difficult 
to consume or give away any sur- 
plus, we cut down our production 
of that particular tMng and de- 
voted the time to pr^ucing some- 
thing else which we wfere then buy- 
ing. 

"We used machinery wherever we 
could," the author continues, "and 
tried to apply the most approved 
scientific methods to small-scale 
production." y 

This led to the discovery, Mr. 
Borsodi writes, that "more than 
two-thirds of the things which the 
average family now buys could be 
produced more economically at 
home than they could be bought 
factory made; that the average 
man and woman could earn more 
by producing at home than by 
working for money in an office or 
factory and that, theerfore, the less 
time they spent working away from 
home and the more time they spent 
working at home, the better off 
they would be." 

The Home as an Investment. . . 

Finally, Mr. Borsodi discovered, 
"that the home itself was still ca- 
pable of being made into a produc- 
tive and creative institution and 
that an investment in a homestead 
equipped with efficient domestic 
machinery would yield larger re- 
turns per dollar of investment than 
investments in insurance, in mort- 
gages, in stocks and bond3 > ." 

In Dayton, Ohio, for nearly a 
year a sociological experiment of 
far-reaching significance has been 
under way, Mr. Borsodi points out. 
"In this industrial city the support 
of the Council of Social Agencies 
has been given to an organized 
movement based upon production 
for us (an contrasted with produc- 
tion for the market), and for home- 
steading with domestic production, 
as described in this book. As con- 



sulting economist for the Dayton 
movement, it has been my privilege 
to watch a development which 
promises, because of the interest 
other cities are taking in it, to 
make social history." 




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Birds Vs. Insects. 

The wise gardener is not impelled 
by sentiment alone when he does 
everything within his power to at- 
tract birds to his small domain. Ob- 
servation soon teaches that the 
greater the number of birds the 
less trouble there will be from in- 
sects. 

Few gardeners, however, take ad- 
vantage of the simplest of all ways 
of encouraging bird visitors. This 
is to leave a few dense thickets in 
the shrubbery where the nest- 
makers will find congenial condi- 
tions. Why build elaborate— and 
usually unattractive— bird houses 

i when fewer than a dozen species 
I ever make use of them? 

Practically all birds mate very 
| early in the Spring. Gardeners who 
l are also nature students, when 
| doing their pruning at this time of 
1 the year, take pains to leave places 
where the feathered home-builders 
will settle down to rearing fami- 
lies. A tangle of honeysuckle in 
some out-of-the-way corner is ideal 
for this purpose. 




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THE HARVEY SOCIETY LECTURES 
1932-1933 

This new volume presents the twenty-eighth series of the 
famous Harvey Society Lectures, covering as usual a variety 
of subjects by high authorities in their respective fields. 
Edited by Dr. Edgar Stillman. Cloth, 5j x 8, illustrated. 
$4.00. The contents include : 

The Constitutional Principle in Clinical Medicine. By Julius 

Bauer (Vienna). 
^ Similarities between Diseases of the Vegetable Kingdom and those 

of Man and Animals. By L. O. Kunkel (Princeton). 
The Nature of the Menstrual Cycle. By George W. Corner 

(Rochester). 






Strip farming:, much advocated as a 
means of slowing- down soil erosion, is 

I also valuable as a method of holding- in 
check aphids, or "plant lice." Strip-farm- 
ing- experiments have turned in practi- Tjie 
cally aphid-free strips of peas and canta- 
loupes interplanted with corn, cotton and 
other plants, while adjacent solid fields of 
the same truck crops were destroyed by 
the insect?. The efficacy of this alternate 

■ planting is probably due to the shelter and 
encouragement the strips of other crops 6 






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given to the natural parasitic and preda- | Market 
% tory insect enemies of the aphids. Khe John 



>ws 



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Cracked eggs may be boiled 
without the contents oozing out 
if a teaspoonful of salt is added 
to the water. 






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Growing of Subtropical Wheat 

in Cold Climate in Practice 

on 500,000 Acres. 



1,260 VARIETIES IN THE TEST 



Pr. Borbdin, Here, Tells of Suc- 
cess With Dr. Lyssenko's 
Method of Treating Seed. 



WEAPON AGAINST DROUGHT 



'Shortening of Growing Period Ripens 

"Yarovized" Grain Before Dry 

Season Sets In. 



The recent discovery by Dr. T. D. 
Lyssenko, who is known as the Rus- 
sian Luther' Burbank, of a process 
that permits the growing of sub- 
tropical plants in northern climes, 
and also makes possible the crossing 
of plants requiring entirely different 
periods of vegetation, has been 
placed in operation on a. half-million 
acres of land in Soviet Russia, it was 
revealed here yesterday by Dr. Dmi- 
try N. Borodin, Russian agronomist 
and plant physiologist. 

Dr. Lyssenko's discovery was first 
announced to the English-speaking 



The Process Is Simple. 

"Yarovization," Dr. Vavilov told 
the Cornell gathering, involves a rela- 
tively simple physiological treatment 
of the seed before planting and "en- 
ables us to utilize in our climate for 
greeding and genetic work tropical 
and subtropical varieties, which prac- 
tically amounts to moving the south- 
ern flora northward. This creates 
the possibility of widening the scope 
of breeding and genetic work to an 
unprecedented extent, allowing the 
crossing of varieties requiring entire- 
ly different periods." 

"By using an old method of hy- 
bridization introduced by Dr. Lev 
Sapegin in combination with 'yarovi- 
zation/ " Dr. Borodin said, "the 
Russian plant breeders are able at 
present to obtain four to five gen- 
erations of Spring wheat in one year. 
In other words, the work which re- 
quired in the past from ten to twelve 
years may be accomplished now in 
only three to four years." 

Thousands of hectares of "yaro- 
vized" Winter wheat, Dr. Borodin 
told, were planted quietly in the 
steppes of Russia during the Spring 
of 1930. The results were so encour- 
aging that more than 250,00 acres 
were allotted the next yar. 

There are other advantages in the 
planting of "yarovised" seeds, Dr. 
Borodin added, in addition to more 
rapid reproduction and the shorten- 
ing of the vegetation period. As a 
direct result of these the crops out- 
speed the rust and other diseases to 
which Winter wheat is susceptible 
to a high degree, while the earlier 
ripening enables Russian crops to be 
harvested before the period of the 
drought, which generally comes in 
Russia late in June. 

1,260 Wheat Strains Tested. 

About 1,260 pure line varieties of 
wheat, collected from different parts 
of Azerbaijan, Trans-Caucasia, as 
well as varieties of Ukrainian wheat, 
Dr. Borodin said, were sown on the 
Odessa experimental acres in April, 
1930. Some of these were "yaro- , 
vised," while others were planted as 
controls. 

"In the group of non-yarovised 
Ukrainian varieties," he said, "ears 
started to appear on June 15, and 
these ears ceased to produce on June 
21. At the same time the wheat from 



scientific world last Agust before the 

sixth Internatienfer' Congress* •£■ Ge- . 

netics at Cornell University by Dr. t£?s alTol J, ulv ^ these 



N. I. Vavilov, director of the Insti- 



tion," which, ^literally translated 
means "springification" ; by means 
of "yarovization," a term adopted 
also by the German scientists, Win- 
ter varieties can be transformed into 
Spring varieties and late varieties 
into early ones by the action on the 
seed before sowing of definite com- I 
binations of temperature, light, dark- 1 
ness and humidity, artificially indue- 1 
ing processes of fermentation. 



on July 1 these varieties 



tute of Plant industry in LeWfrgrad J- ^P rised ^ n P er cent of the 

of T tV\tt!n°«^^ - *>* the other hand » the yarovised 

^ * 'group of the Trans-Caucasian varie- 

ties showed ears more than two 
weeks earlier than the Ukrainian. 
Until the 15th of June, 830 varieties, 
or 66 per cent of these sub-tropical 
wheats, grown in moderate climate, 
produced ears, with a yield in some 
instances 41 per cent larger than the 
native product. 

"The non-yarovised Caucasian va- 
rieties produced no grain, or grains 
of very poor quality, while the yaro- 



vised Caucasian varieties produced 
excellent grains, far superior to the 
best Ukrainian varieties. In other 
words, semi-tropical varieties of 
wheat, when planted in a moderate 
climate, after yarovization, surpass 
the best local varieties not only in 
yield but also in quality. Special 
baking tests that were made on the 
transplanted product showed it to 
contain considerably higher food 
.values." • 

The experiments have so far been 
conducted on whea t, millet, cotton, 
corn, soybeans '! barley, mustard, 
sudangrass, sorghum, potatoes and 
grapes, the results being the same in 
all instances. Each variety, or spe- 
cies, requ ires its o wn_ individual 
treatment. As the experiments pro- 
gfessTTKbre and more varieties will 
be included," Dr. BOrodin said. 



NC\A/ CAPT »ir» i !■•■- -»"* 



Coal Dust Used to Speed 
Soviet Cotton Production 

By Science Service. 

MOSCOW, Oct. 2 (By Mail).- 
Russian farmers have discovered 
a way to speed up the ripening of 
their cotton crops by a month or 
more. They use coal to warm the 
cotton plants without burning the 
coal. This seeming paradox is be- 
ing performed at Kazakstan, U. 
S. S. R. 

Obtaining heat from coal with- 
out burning it is the application 
of the simple principle that dark 
colors absorb the heat in the suns 
rays better than light colors. 

The farmers spread coal dust 
lightly over their fields ; about 100 
pounds to the acre. The darkened 
surface is a better absorber of 
heat during the day and re-radi- 
ates more of it as warmth during 
the night. The higher average 
temperature of the land during 
the growing season shortens the 
time necessary for the crop to 
mature. 



CHEMISTRY COMES TO AID OF NATURE. 




TfmM Wid« World Photo*. 
Cabinets in Which Fresh. Green Cattle Fodder Is Grown in 10 Days. 
Right— One of the Trays in Which Feed Is Grown Without Earth. 



Vegetable 'Gardens' in Kitchens Likely 
As Cabinet-Grown Fodder Crops Succeed 



Special Correspondence, 

LEISTON, England, Aug. 30.-On 
the Suffolk farm of Michael Far- 
raday, grandson of the great elec- 
trician, scientists have witnessed 
the first practical results of sev- 
enteen years' research into a new 
method of growing crops which may 
entirely revolutionize agriculture. 

Here, by a special process discov- 
ered in Germany by Dr. Paul Span- 
genberg of Liibeck, crops of maize 



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Thi N«w York Times 

and barley are grown in ten days, 
not in the ground, but in chemi- 
cally treated trays arranged in 
tiers inside metal cabinets. These 
crops are being used daily to feed 
cattle and pigs on the farm and 
the animals are in better condition 
than others fed with ordinary out- 
door fodder. 

Farmers at the recent Ipswich 
Agricultural Show were amazed at 
this new invention. Already a com- 
pany has been formed to manufac- 



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turc the equipment and supply the 
necessary chemical elements. The 
name of the company is British Cul- 
tivations, Ltd., and the process has 
been fully patented under the name 
"Kwick Grow." 

No Earth Is Required. 
Dr. Spangenberg made his dis- 
covery by analyzing the most fer- 
tile soil he could find and duplicat- 
ing' its nutrient content in a chemi- 
cal solution. This solution is fed 
to the seed. Only small quantities 
of water are required and no earth 
is used. The seed germinated by 
this process are said to produce 
five times the volume of seed 
nlanted in the ground. 
" Each cabinet in which the seeds 



are placed is divided into ten sec- 
tions, one for each day's growth, 
and each section contains eight 
trays. As each day's crop is "har- 
vested," more seed is immediately 
put into the trays to produce an- 
other crop in ten days. Thus, the 
farmer has a fresh crop, approxi- 
mating the finest June pasturage, 
every day in the year. 

Kitchen-Grown Vegetables. 

Orders are being received for cab- 
inets from farms in all parts of 
England, including one farmer who 
is a tenant of the King at Sandring- 
ham. In Germany the government 
has ordered them in large quanti- 
ties to be used in concentration 
camps. 

With the growing of crops for feed- 
ing animals successfully achieved, 
investigators are now experimenting 
further with growing vegetables. 
This process is still in the experi- 
mental stage, but the men working 
at it have in mind the ultimate pro- 
duction of smaller cabinets which 
could be kept in homes— in the 
kitchen, like an icebox— to supply 
the family with fresh green prod- 
uce all the year round. The grow- 
ing of fresh vegetables is expected 
to require somewhat more time 
than fodder erops. 

F. H. Hedinger, a naturalized 
^American who is a director of the 
company, has been in communica- 
tion with the American Embassy 
in London and authorities in the 
United States, offering a demon- 
stration of the process as a means 
of alleviating the fodder crisis 
caused by the drought. He expects 
to leave soon for America. 






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Still He Serenely Cultivates His Garden 



ENCHANTED ACRE. Adventures 
in Backyard Farming. By Gove 
Hambidge. Illustrated by Ruth 
Hambidge. 344 pp. Sunstead 
Series. New York: Whittlesey 
House ( McGraw-Hill Book Com- 
pany). $2.50. 

npiHE "adventures" which Mr. 
JL Hambidge mentions in his sub- 
title are quite as much in 
spiritual as in material things. 
They, and, in fact, the whole book 
and the "Sunstead Series," to which 
it belongs, have a certain kinship 
with those "adventures" that lured 
and so richly repaid the army of 
David Grayson readers through his 
long list of books. But the kin- 
ship is not close, and each author 
is, very distinctly, himself, alone 
and unique. Their community of 
endowment lies in the ability of 
each one to gather interest, inspi- 
ration and nourishment of the 
spirit from his environment. But 
Grayson was chiefly interested in 
man, human nature, while Ham- 
bidge turns to the good earth and 
all its prolific life as surely as the 
sunflower to the sun. 

Those who read his former book, 
"Time to Live," will turn eagerly 
to this new volume, the second in 
bis charmingly titled series, which 
is to centre about the "farm"— 
which, he explains, is merely an 
acre and a quarter on a stony hill- 
top—the home and the life which he 
and his wife have carved out of the 
elementals, while they have made 
the effort afford self-expression, in- 
terest, freedom, reasonable leisure, 
satisfaction and happiness. 



While the first volume in the 
series outlined the general story of 
what he has done and how he has 
done it on the practical side of 
realizing this purpose, it dealt at 
length also with the philosophy of 
life he has worked out, how he has 
found in it "time to live" and made 
it yield in rare measure the pleas- 
ures and satisfactions of life, this 
new one goes into the matter in 
more detail and keeps in closer 
touch with the earth. 

There are chapters on the garden, 
the orchard, the animal life, on cer- 
tain adventures with bees and 
goats, the general subject of living 
on the land, the relations between 
green leaves and human beings. 
With both practical and scientific 
knowledge these matters are con- 
sidered in detail, with account of 
how he works at each one and fits 
it into his scheme of life. 

As Mr. Hambidge gets toward the 
end of a chapter on "Green 
Leaves," wherein he has talked 
about subsistence farming, in the 
economic theory and aim of which 
he has very little confidence, he 
dwells on the satisfaction he gets 
from the modified and limited 
farming he does in his back yard 
and describes the experiments and 
achievements of some of his friends 
who, intellectual workers, are also 
carving out homes and ways of 
life in secluded places. Going on 
to discussion of how leaves live and 
grow and the importance of chlo- 
rophyl for vegetable life, and so for 
animal life and human life, he per- 



mits himself a bit of mystical inter- 
pretation and continues: 

It would be easy to stress a 
mystical element here, namely, 
that our love of green things, 
broad green landscapes, trees, 
grass is based on something more 
than esthetic appreciation alone, 
that is, on an absolute depen- 
dence on green things for life 
itself, from the beginning of time, 
before we were human beings. It 
seems hardly possible that this 
would not have affected our atti- 
tude and feelings— that we should 
not have had a love of green 
things woven into us, as man has 
a love of the body of woman for 
equally deep reasons. 

"It is not really," he says, "that 
this acre where we live is an en- 
chanted acre * * * but the life on 
it has had the quality of enchant- 
ment * * * This is a rare thing— to 
feel that life has the quality of en- 
chantment while it is being lived." 
So, too, is it a rare thing for an 
author to be able to make his read- 
ers feel some measure of that en- 
chantment and to understand what 
it means for him. But this Mr. 
Hambidge begins doing with his 
first page and keeps on doing all 
through his "hodgepodge" of home- 
ly subjects, excursions into philoso- 
phy, adventures in fancy, touches 
of humor, to the last page, when 
one stands with him at his back 
porch, looks up at the sky thickly 
strewn with Winter stars and be- 
lieves with him that "these things 
are good things to do and to see." 
Florence Finch Kelly. 



Weeds 



Their Place in the Economy of 
Nature 



Weeds. By W. C. Muenscher. $6.00. 
New York: The Macmillan Company. 

A WEED is not always a useless, 
f\ ugly, harmful plant. Behold 
A"\ the black-eyed Susans, but- 
"^" "^ tercups, mountain laurel, 
and many attractive flowers classed 
as weeds. A weed is a plant which 
grows where it is not wanted, and 
usually interferes with the growth of 
other plants that -are desired and 
cultivated. It is surprising how 
weeds will thrive under adverse cir- 
cumstances. They are good travel- 
ers, though they have no power of 
locomotion, but man and animals, 
wind and water play an important 
part in their dissemination. Hay 
and feed stuffs, ballast from freight 
cars and boats, threshing machines 
and hay-balers, manure and packing 
materials, all aid and abet the spread 
of weeds. Of the five hundred weeds 
described in this volume, 196 only 
are natives of North America; the 
rest are undesirable immigrants. 
Weeds, many of them, act as hosts 
to fungi and bacteria, others are 
poisonous to stock or injure farm 
animals. On the other hand, weeds 
plowed under add humus and nu- 
trients to the soil; some of them fur- 
nish forage for animals and others 
are edible by man. A long list of 
weeds has been prepared that have 
medicinal properties and are used 
in preparation of medicines and 
drugs. 

largely, however, weeds are to be 
fought, killed, exterminated or at 
least controlled. Por preventing the 
spread of weeds, Dr. Muenscher 
urges clean seed, mowing waste 
areas early, avoiding the scattering 
of weed seeds by farm products and 
machinery. The tops of weeds may 
be destroyed by all kinds of hoeing, 
plowing, harrowing, mowing, spud- 
ding, and by fire, steam and chemical 
treatment. Underground parts of 
weeds may be destroyed by rotation 
of crops, drainage, smother crops, 
straw mulch, mulch paper and 
chemicals such as sodium chlorate, 
sodium arsenite and carbon bisulfide. 
A whole chapter is devoted to chemi- 
cal weed control which is fast de- 
veloping into a major and very effec- 
tive weapon. This whole matter is 
brought thoroughly up-to-date by 
the author. 

The main part of the book is a 
botany of weeds. Keys, descriptions, 
illustrations are provided for the 



identification of weeds. Also a para- 
graph is added to the description of 
each weed showing the best methods 
of control for that particular weed. 
The volume is a valuable aid to the 
gardener and farmer. It will prove 
of great interest also to any student 
of botany and offers an unusual 
hobby for a summer's, study in the 
country or in one's own back yard. 
T. C. R. 



M 



FIVE ACRES. A practical guide 
to the selection and manage- 
ment of the small farm. By M. 
G. Kains. Illustrated. 371 pp. 
New York: Greenberg, pub- 
lisher. $2.50. 

R. KAINS divides the people 
who have a hankering for 
a few acres and life in the 
country into two classes, 
those who are sure to fail and those 
who may succeed. He wants with 
this book, he says, to help both 
classes and hopes it will make pos- 
sible success for both. He likens its 
use by would-be five-acre farmers 
to the use of a road map by any one 
taking a long automobile journey, 
because he endeavors in it to indi- 
cate safe roads to follow and to 
warn against those that will lead 
to disappointment and perhaps dis- 
aster. He has taken especial pains 
all through it to point out and ad- 
vise against the mistakes that those 
who are not familiar with farm 
work and country life are likely to 
make. 

The early chapters are taken up 
with consideration of the advan- 
tages and disadvantages of country 
life, the ways of beginning and 
carrying on that lead to failure, 
preliminary matters to be decided 
and factors to be looked out for. 
Then come questions of finance, of 
water supply, sewage disposal, 
what livestock can be kept, what 
crops grown, the planting and care 
of gardens and orchards, the soil 
and its care, and so on. 

Mr. Kains, who is special crop 
culturist in the United States De- 
partment of Agriculture , and lec- 
turer on horticulture in Columbia 
University, evidently is thoroughly 
well versed in both the scientific 
bases of farming and practical 
farm work and his detailed advice 
and explanation on every topic 
treated leave little chance for even 
the ignorant and unskilled person 
to go wrong in his farming opera- 
tions if he is intelligent enough to 
trust his guide and follow direc- 
tions. The illustrations, line draw- 
ings in the text, help to make clear 
the text. 



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bit, economical size, 
fee pointed out that 
|ne car transporta- 
C buyer and at the 
ie demand for agil- 
\ parking, ease of 
tnd lower mainte- 
^ost. 

tthat the public is 
ability of air-cool- 
iplishment in the 
get the price of an 
f a basis that suits 
fket. 

in our lin'e," Mr.ild 
<e able to approach an> 
i, who never before Dr 
hoose an atr-cooled ' 
ned a much more 301 ' 
Tage and a poten- of 
i important profit on . 

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ted 

5MOKE PIPES As 

er- 
his cunning- little > ar 
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match for my new " 

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r the right curved )le 
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ik with a straight ^e 
.is 
rs 



Culture "by the Acre" 

. Field, After Research Work for the Government in 
Finds a Way to Help Solve the Farm Problem 



mt I daresay youM 

je left side of your 

:, or the center, it 

to make your face 

noticed that When 
ijamas and light up 
s something very 
it a corncob, Isn't 

ne a good book and 
up for hours at a 
igue. B- the way, 
ntown Thursday to 
co bargains. Want 

to — maybe I'll get 
myself to that im- 

amber combination 

:n Newell's window. 

W"ell, so long — don't 

ildn't smoke. 

keep the home 
ti "The Spur of the 
Courier-Express 



By William E. Brigham 



erosion will be checked, because the run- 
off water can be held within the speed 
limit, which strips off the surface soil 
and deposits it in the rivers. This eroded 
material is kept on the farm. Whenever 
practicable, this can be supplemented, in 
correct quantities, by farm and munici- 
pal sewage, thereby manuring the water 
preparatory to manuring the farm land. 
This sewage, scientifically treated, makes 
two blades of grass grow where one grew 
before; it causes thousands of micro- 
scopic plants to grow where one grew 
before, and, best of all, it starts a new 
cycle of matter w r herein lifeless material 
is transformed into living organisms; 
and we have before us the proof that 
water, soil and atmosphere are the raw 
materials of life and, consequently, the 
true base raw materials of business. 

+ + + 

Fish culture "by the acre" is the dream 
of Dr. Field for the American farmer, 
and hA illu n^*"* "■ ■-«- ' " 



ent for life. Properly treated (and all 
this may be done without offense to the 
neighborhood), the outflow of liquid after 
the gas had been taken off, and before 
the dry residue which makes such excel- 
lent fertilizer is reached, would reinstate 
the cycle of matter which is the law of 
life. As the flow passes off into the water, 
the vegetable substances are broken up 
by bacteria, which then become the in- 
fusoria upon which the Crustacea feed; 
and these, in turn almost microscopic, 
become the foodi of the fish. It is the 
working out of this beneficent cycle that 
is illustrated in the German ponds. 

+ + + 

For the American farmer, especially 
in the States of the Mississippi Valley, 
where conditions are practically ideal, 
Dr. Field urges a scientific yet easy 
utilization of the waters which come 
down from above upon his own land, or 
flow +^~~ - — »- ■<- ' 



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Already in those distant millenniums the Chinese 
knew "ta-teon" as a plant of almost miraculous 
diverse uses. When floods damprotted or drought 
destroyed the grain crops, the healthy and imper- 
turbable soybean vine rarely fell below half its 
yield, so that generation after generation came to 
know it as its mainstay against famine. As the 
wild hunt animals died off on the Chinese prairies 
and the human population crowded out the domestic 
livestock, the soybean became recognized as the 
vegetable that gave strength to millions whose 
meatless days lasted for centuries. 



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Meanwhile soybean acreage 
climbed with the markets. There 
were 1,000,000 acres in 1922, close 
to 2,500,000 acres in 1928, 4,000,000 
acres in 1934. The Agricultural 
Department's experimenters and 
technicians were finding out new 
and favorable things about the "lit- 
tle honorable plant" as fast as the 
industrial laboratories. If the right 
varieties were chosen, it was speed- 
ily demonstrated, it would grow 
anywhere from the blizzard-strick- 
en prairies of North Dakota to the 
sub-tropics of the Gulf Coast 
Delta; from the sandy soils of re- 
cently reclaimed deserts to the 
stony soils of New England. 

The idea of its soil-building prop- 
erties proved to be no ancient Chi- 
nese superstition. The "wonder 
bean" restored nitrogen to the soil, 
replenished the phosphates; plowed 
under, it made the most efficient 
of all vegetable fertilizers. 

Wherever the post-war farmer 
has turned, in short, he has found 
another argument for planting 
soybeans, and to make last year's 
bumper crop, 600,000 farms in 
twenty-seven States grew them. In 
its boom years of the nineteen- 
thirties the less-than-lima-sized 
morsel definitely became "big 
business." 




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PLANT EXPERT DERIDES 
OLD GARDENING CODES 



If They Fail to Aid Propagation 

Violate Them Deliberately, 

Says Dr. Crocker. 



If rigid adherence to the time- 
honored codes of practical garden- 
ers does not bring success in plant 
propagation, try deliberate violations 
of those laws, Dr. William Crocker, 
director of the Boyce Thompson In- 
stitute for Plant Research, advised 
his audience during a lecture at the 
Museum Building in the New York 
Botanical Garden, Bronx Park, yes- 
terday. 

As an example, he said that in set- 
ting out soft-wood cuttings, the pre- 
scribed practice was to strip most of 
the leaves, apparently on the theory 
that they absorbed nourishment 
needed for the coming roots. 

However, he said, extensive experi- 
ments have proved that the leaves 
provide the nourishment the roots 
must have, and should be clipped 
only in those rare cases where they 
exhaust the moisture in the soil too 
rapidly. In a number of cases, he 
said, the greatest success had been 
obtained by leaving on all possible 
leaves and burying some of them in 
the soil. A reason he advanced for 
the frequent abandonment of old 
methods was that there are hardly 
two plants which should be grown 
under identical circumstances. 

"Nurserymen used to say," Dr. 
Crocker remarked, "that a practical 
way of raising holly would be worth 
a million dollars to any one. The old 
belief was that holly seeds would not 
germinate except in a state of na- 
jture. As a matter of fact, they ger- 
minate very well, but usually only 
after a period of eighteen months to 
two years." 

Rhododendrons are now being prop- 
igated in this country for the first 
ime, Dr. Crocker said, a fact which 
vill be pleasant news to many gar- 
deners, since the supply which for- 
nerly came from Europe is cut off 
Dy quarantine. 



small parcel. 

Herb Growing and Cooking 

L. B., New York City, and 
H. B., Ithaca, N. Y., ask for 
Christmas books on herbs, their 
use and cultivation. 

There is a beautiful one by Henry 
Beston, "Herbs and the Earth" (Dou- 
bleday), good to read even if your 
resources go no further than a win- 
dow box, and practical if you can 
actually plant. "Gardening With 
Herbs," by Helen Fox (Macmillan), 
describes sixty-eight herbs for flavor 
and fragrance and has lovely pic- 
tures. Maud Grieve's "Modern Herbal" 
(Harcourt) is the one you will prob- 
ably come to if you get involved in 
this subject, which seldom lets you 
go; it is a handsome, comprehensive 
and scholarly work, costing ten dol- 
lars; the same author's "Culinary 

! Herbs and Condiments" (Harcourt) 
' is a briefer, less expensive guide. 
; Houghton Mifflin has recently pub- 
lished Marcus Woodward's "Leaves 
From Gerard's Herbal" (1597), ar- 
ranged from this famous work to 
form a garden calendar. Two tiny 
i books on this subject will get any 
one interested in it: "Thirty Herbs 
Will Make an Herb Garden" and "Ten 
Herbs Will Make a Kitchen Bouquet"; 
they are by Helen Lyman, published 
| by the author, Ganta Clara Avenue 
; Oakland, Calif. The first gives basic 
principles of cultivation and has a 
! packet of mixed seeds attached; the 
i second is about simple cookery and 
has a paper of mixed ground herbs; 
as time is short, I add that the first 
costs a quarter and the second thir- 
ty-five cents. 



TO PRESERVE NUT MEATS 



Agriculture Bureau Offers Easy 
Method for Use in Homes. 



A new home method for keeping 
nut meats fresh— using a water 
I bath canner such as many house- 
wives use to process fruits— is an- j 
nounced by the United States De- j 
partment of Agriculture. 

Many farm families who make a 
Winter industry of preparing 
shelled nuts for sale or home use, 
often take a loss when warm 
weather causes the oil in the nuts 
to become rancid. Commercial con- 
cerns avoid! this stalenenss or ran- 
cidity, caused by light and heat in 
combination with air, by vacuum 
packing the nut meats. 

The only equipment needed for 
vacuum packing nut meats at 
home, says R. C. Wright of the 
Bureau of Plant Industry, who de- 
veloped the method, is glass fruit 
jars to hold the nuts and the water 
bath canner to exhaust the air from 
the jars. He says: 

"Fill glass jars with nut meats 
and adjust the glass lids and rub- 
bers but do not tighten them. Set 
the jars in a water bath canner— 
either a clothes boiler or a big ket- 
tle with a rack on the bottom. Use 
enough water to reach almost to 
the top of the jars. Keep the water 
boiling for 15 or 20 minutes. Then 
seal the jars and leave them in the 
water until it begins to cool. Store 
the jars in a dark room or cover to 
keep them from the light. Thus 
processed, nut meats will keep 
fresh even during hot weather." 




^» t \<> < > . » 



( — <u* 



keeping the plants out of water upon 
a wire mesh and letting the roots of 
the plants strike down into water. I 
That worked fairly well but still seeds 
could not be germinated well and 
such things as potatoes would not 
grow. 
Finally, the present plan was 
1 erais— iron cm < devised. The tank is filled with 

I Phorus, Jodinp i ' nitrogen water and a fine meshed netting is 
Most soils r<w • phur and ti spread just an inch or so over the 
they are Jack-fn ♦? these » an c water. The water level is maintained 
? they can be si automatically below the mesh by 



grown year aft^r ' as P J an means of a mechanical gadget. Then 
exhausted anri iVv, year - s °iis ba blanket of sawdust and other 
fertilizers ne P r? k ^ more and fibrous materials is spread over the 

probably more f prHH Sed - ***> wire. On this the seeds, or potato 

*£e ground than i. ? js ^asteyes 

the r.7 Q >,*- .. Jan iS actually ... v i 



On this the seeds, or potato 
are spread. Then, another 



*£e ground than ^ r is w asf eves are spread. Then, another ^ 
th e Plants, this Ln actually us ( blanket of sawdust, wood fibers and J 
Pensive biisiness-~-r „ ecom es a] the like, is spread over all. k 

farmer's *r*ctloi^g™S*°wn fSSd ot certain minerals, the plants ^S 
Plan?f a]I thi * mSl f n ° th would be stunted. If they had too ^ 
Piants must first ho I- food much food or too much of a certain j 
^in ^e soif be b f e dl f^ved ^nt the plants would go to / 

o^ous ke tn a t Up ^ SS roots^ ^ «* stemS ^ M ^f^ ^ 
can tein* i'- P^ded the 5 2t enough fruit or flowers. But by 
no re2^n PP u ed adequately «£?* exactly maintaining 
Y r ea«on why soil « M i ei 7» the re u ^ amrf > the nlants t 



no Vfi?. ppiled ad equate v £ ier < exactly maintaining tne proper 
no reason why soil 225 ?' there Stance the plants are kept right 
a"d ^ P V^ te Sta^/5n^SSdule a P nd bear amazingly, < 
need. d them «>e minSag^ Harvesting is even more ample d 

^at is the ldPa . ■ than grOWing ' — -~- ™ - '- ^ 

farmings™ /dea of the 



than growing. There is no back- 



* 3 Sa 









understood, hot 
Mean agricultura 
N has been given 

i^^anddist 

shn^i and P ] ans 

la ?d they, too, j 

'iss perfecte * 

Second— th*» »*,« 

^inthetaS 
°een well worked 
secret at all r n 1 
experimenters tnl 

««e narcissus bulbs 

died and ~L? mosl 
^tlsflcfor^ W0UJd ^ germlna £ 

^^ the plan was hif 

was hit upon of 



e grown large enougn, uie v^s . 
are simply cut off down to the level / 
of the blanket and then the top r 
layer of the blanket is peeled off, J 
exposing the tubers ready to beT 
kicked vn-^S^J^S. TgfrF&'S 




i^*;hsj a *ts «?§;?« &a ate 



"3 



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M P CO 



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VI CD 



2 pi <5 d e 

3S"_S* 

vines, 

msects "chew them up or diseases 

8TS S them before they are ™>* d e 

pUns ' Rpkns cabbage, lettuce, also have 

tKftSSSd oSrsuccessfully and, as for 

^"^ s^awberries - tests upon Dr. 

KEENI GerSe's berries have shown them 

7 St only to be sweeter and juicier 

"T! SSd Wgger than fleld-gi jown berries 

real but also to have at least an eq^ 

tor L content of vitamines and food 

SoVf V wS;t Dr. Gericke and others have 

1 done with vegetables and • flora?; 

J other scientiste are doing ^ d ^ 



w- 



ds" 



Test -Tube Truck Farms 

Condensed from The Commentator 
Arthur W, Baum 



The day when you can go 
down to a little truck garden 
in the basement and pick 
your own fresh greens and vege- 
tables for dinner may not yet be 
at hand — but there is promise in 
the air. 

In practically every agricultural 
college, in government experi- 
mental stations, in the Bureau of 
Plant Industry, plant physiolo- 
gists today are growing full qual- 
ity, heavily productive foods and 
flowers without a vestige of soil. 
Consider a tomato plant 25 feet 
high, with fruit from one end to 
the other — the whole growing on 
nothing more than a three-inch 
layer of excelsior and sawdust sus- 
pended on a wire mesh over a shal- 
low pan of water. 

Years ago it was understood 
that soil is simply a medium from 
which plants extract chemicals; 
that if the necessary chemicals 
were made available to plant roots 
by some other means than soil, 
the results were just as good. 

But it was not until after the 
war that investigation speeded 
up. Two branches of research un- 
folded: sand culture and water 
culture. The sand culturists placed 
their plants in clean, washed sand 



and flooded the beds with solu- 
tions containing feeding chemi- 
cals. The water culturists laid 
mats of excelsior, sawdust or prac- 
tically any porous and absorbent 
material on wire meshes over pans 
of nutrient solutions so that the 
plant roots could dangle in the 
feedbox and enjoy an endless 
meal. 

Foremost among the water cul- 
turists is Professor F. W. Gericke, 
associate plant physiologist of the 
University of California. Step by 
step he probed the chemical needs 
of growing plants. Then he laid 
electric heating cables in his solu- 
tion tanks, dissolving the chemi- 
cals at a carefully accelerated 
pace and — produced the miracle. 
Gericke tobacco climbed 20 feet. 
Potato plants deposited hundreds 
of clean white tubers. Onions 
grew three deep. The plant world 
was literally on a spree. 

A tomato patch in reasonably 
good farming country can yield 
live tons of tomatoes per acre in a 
season. Professor Gericke's toma- 
toes, on an acre basis, bore more 
than 200 tons! Further, he had 
ripe fruit in four months and a 
continuous bearing plant for the 
ensuing nine months. Harvest ev- 



© J 937i Pay son Publishing, Inc., 101 Park Ave., N.T.C. The Commentator, a new monthly edited 

by Lowell 'Thomas, aims to provide a medium for the men and women who have won 

wide audiences through the microphone to express themselves in more 

enduring form and without the censorship necessary in radio 77 







THE READER'S DIGEST 



ery day for three quarters of a 
year! Ordinary potato growers on 
the farm secure 120 bushels to a 
crop. Gericke potatoes made an 
acre crop of 2465 bushels! 

Sand culture too, has its mira- 
cles. In England, a while back, a 
dairy group was sprouting corn in 
cabinets, drawing out each day a 
shelf of fodder and replanting for 
the next crop to come along in 
just ten days. At the New Jersey 
Agricultural Experiment Station, 
1 )r. Rohbins has cotton plants with 
beautiful bolls growing in small 
pots of pure sand. He has had to- 
mato plants climbing out through 
the greenhouse ventilators. 

The new chemical agriculture 
is more than a laboratory freak. 
The chemicals are cheap, and com- 
paratively little water is needed. 
On the basis of Gericke results it 
is possible to put an acre under 
glass on the edge of a city, and 
thus produce crops that now re- 
quire a 40-acre truck farm. Al- 
ready there are four commercial 
installations of the Gericke proc- 
ess in California. And this past 
year some citizens of San Fran- 
cisco have, whether they knew it or 
not, purchased ripe tomatoes that 
were not born of earth; business 
men raised them by factory meth- 
ods and marketed them at a profit. 



For the moment jjie^commer 
cial direction of water culture is 
toward Arizona, New Mexico anc 
Florida. In the populous East 
where the development would be 
most useful, it runs up against ex 
cessive heating and lighting costs 
— due to erratic weather anc 
long winters. But electricity is be 
coming cheaper every year anc 
experience shows tnat costs in 
variably decrease as an enterprise 
grows. 

However, there is no apparent 
prospect for a vast and rapid shift 
from land to greenhouse factory 
with resultant economic disturb 
ances. Eastern capital is definitel 
interested in the sawdust-and 
water vegetable kingdom, but it 
present status is somewlfet that oi 
a rich man's toy — to produce ex 
pensive products for the carriage 
trade, ft-ofessor G aelic frankly 
states that in the growing of grair 
the chemical croppefc^nnot com 
pete with the farmed that he ma) 
encroach on the orchardist onh 
in a few semi-tropical trees. Th 
first assault on established agri 
culture will be a tentative om 
upon truck gardeners. And man) 
truck gardeners are already in th 
routine hothouse business and sc 
are ready to take over the nev 
development. 






^\_yhe mind is like the stomach. It is not 
how much you put into it that counts^ but 
bow much it digests. — Albert Jay Nock 



Health from the Ground Up 

Condensed from Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 
Rex Beach 



D 



o you know that most of 
us suffer from dangerous 
diet deficiencies which 
cannot be remedied until the de- 
pleted soils from which our foods 
come are brought into proper 
mineral balance? No man today 
can eat enough fruits and vege- 
tables to supply his system with 
the mineral salts he requires for 
perfect health, because his stom- 
ach isn't big enough to hold them! 

One carrot may look and taste 
like another and yet lack the par- 
ticular mineral element carrots 
are supposed to contain. Vegeta- 
tion grown in one part of the coun- 
try -may assay noo parts, per 
billion, of iodine, as against 20 in 
that grown elsewhere. 

Any considerable lack of essen- 
tial mineral elements, and we 
sicken, suffer, shorten our lives. 
And the alarming fact is that our 
fruits, vegetables, grains and 
meats are now being raised on 
millions of acres of land that no 
longer contains enough of these 
minerals. 

The first man to demonstrate 
this was Dr. Charles Northen, an 
Alabama physician who had spe- 
cialized in nutritional disorders. 
He became convinced that we 
must make soil building the basis 

© 1936, Hearst Magazines, Inc. 
(Hearst's International- 



of food building if we are to use 
foods intelligently in the treat- 
ment of disease. 

"We know that vitamins are 
indispensable to nutrition," says 
Dr. Northen, "but it is not com- 
monly realized that vitamins con- 
trol the body's appropriation of 
minerals, and in the absence of 
minerals they have no function. 
Lacking vitamins, the system can 
make some use of minerals, but 
lacking minerals, vitamins are 
useless ! We have been systemati- 
cally robbing soils of the very sub- 
stances necessary to growth and 
resistance to disease. Up to the 
time I began experimenting, al- 
most nothing had been done to 
make good the theft." 

Dr. Northen retired from medi- 
cal practice to devote himself to 
this subject. By putting back into 
soils the stuff that foods are made 
of, he raised better seed potatoes 
in Maine, better grapes in Cali- 
fornia, better oranges in Florida, 
and better field crops in other 
states — better not only in im- 
proved food value but also in in- 
creased quality and quantity. He 
doubled and redoubled the nat- 
ural mineral content of fruits and 
vegetables. He improved the qual- 
ity of milk by increasing the iron 

., 57 St. at Eighth Ave., N. T. C. 
Cosmopolitan, June, 'j6) 



937 



I ^FINISHED BUSINESS 



a humble living; if* I mu as vir- 

II sonic of the heroes of 
polii is history, I 

might l>ecome great or rich, 

thing new and big 

In the arts and sciences 
tru . n, from older 

ma . larship was the aim, 

not j . Duty, not adven- 

ture; work, not play, in a dull 

: M, all done. And it was all a lie. 
all never forget the thrill I 
had when I happened to read sev- 
eral historians on one episode, and 
that they differed on the 
facts of the episode. On all great 

:its they did not al : so I 

saw, with elation, that there was 
a job for us hoys in history. And 
not to learn hut to make history, 
to write histon . chapter 

had, and has, to be worked over 

. written over again/ 
The discovery opened mv eyes 
to the other branches' of "learn- 
dert, curious again, as 
1 was at birth. And when ] heard 
some coll great men, 

greater than I could ever hope to 
be — expose the startling fact 



that they did not know or could 
not agree on what knowledge is, 
in science, and on what was right, 
in ethics, I went off — a student, 
at last — to some European uni- 
versities where, like my little boy 
at the faucet, happily I learned 
that the great grownups of Europe 
also did not know plumbing or 
anything, positively. 

Then, at home again, came a 
sense of elation with the real- 
ization that here were opportuni- 
ties, millions of jobs, big jobs and 
small jobs for all us kids, young 
kids and old kids, if only we could 
be saved from the old illusions 
and fairy tales and taught to see 
things as they are, straight, as 
solvable unsolved problems and 
opportunities. Tife became worth 
living. Life is worth living. 

Now, let me repeat that* this, 
my acquired view of the world as 
all unknown and undone, or half 
done or wrongly done, was good 
for me; it is good for my boy, and 
I think it will be good for all boys 
and girls. It gives purpose to their 
studies, to their play, to their 
work. 



Csllustrativ€ A necdotes — VII — 

fcYBODY thought that Marshal Joffre had won the 

first battle pi the Marne, hut some refused to agree. One day a news- 

• man appealed to Jorfre: "Will you tell me who did win the 

• "f ™ Man .n't answer that," said the Marshal. 

" Hut I dUl tell you that if the battle of the Marne had been lost the 

blame would have been on me." — Quoted in News-Week 



-»% 



HEALTH FROM THE GROUND UP 



and iodine in it. He caused hens 
to lay eggs richer in the vital 
elements. 

At least 1 6 mineral elements are 
indispensable for normal nutri- 
tion. Of these, calcium, phosphorus 
and iron are perhaps the most im- 
portant. Calcium affects the cell 
formation and regulates nerve ac- 
tion. It coordinates the other 
mineral elements and corrects dis- 
turbances made by them. Among 
the actual diseases that may re- 
sult from calcium deficiency are 
rickets, bony deformities, bad 
teeth and nervous disorders. Phos- 
phorus is also exceedingly impor- 
tant. Dr. McCollum of Johns 
Hopkins says that when there are 
enough phosphates in the blood 
there can be no dental decay ! Iron 
is an essential constituent of the 
oxygen-carrying pigment of the 
blood; but iron cannot be assim- 
ilated unless some copper is con- 
tained in the diet. And if iodine 
is not present, goiter afflicts us. 

So each mineral element plays a 
definite role. The human system 
cannot appropriate those elements 
to the best advantage in any but 
the food form. So we must rebuild 
our soils: put back the minerals 
we have taken out. It isn't diffi- 
cult or expensive. By re-estab- 
lishing a proper soil balance Dr. 
Northen has shown he could grow 
crops that contained enough de- 
sired minerals. 

I met him because I was har- 
assed by soil problems on my 



Florida farm which had baffled the 
best experts. "A healthy plant," 
he told me, "grown in soil prop- 
erly balanced, can and will resist 
most insect pests. You have germs 
in your system but you're strong 
enough to throw them off. Simi- 
larly, a really healthy plant will 
take care of itself against insects 
and blights — and will also give 
the human system what it re- 
quires." 

When Dr. Northen restored the 
mineral balance to part of the soil 
in an orange grove infested with 
scale, the trees in that part became 
clean while the rest remained dis- 
eased. By the same means he had 
grown healthy rosebushes between 
rows that were riddled by insects. 
He had grown tomato and cucum- 
ber plants, both healthy and dis- 
eased, where the vines intertwined. 
The bugs ate the diseased plants 
and refused to touch the healthy 
ones! He showed me analyses of 
citrus fruit, the chemistry and the 
food value of which accurately 
reflected the soil treatment the 
trees had received. 

I took his advice and fed min- 
erals into land where I was grow- 
ing a large acreage of celery. When 
the plants from this soil were ma- 
ture I had them analyzed, along 
with celery from other parts of 
the state. My celery had more 
than twice the mineral content of 
the best grown elsewhere; and it 
kept much better, proving that 
the cell structure was sounder. 



THE READER'S DIGEST 



In 1927, W. W. Kincaid, a "gen- 
tleman farmer" of Niagara Falls, 
heard an address by Dr. Northen 
and was so impressed that he be- 
gan extensive experiments. He 
has succeeded in adding both io- 
dine and iron to soil so liberally 
that one glass of milk from his 
cows contains all of the minerals 
that an adult requires for a day. 

"It is neither a complicated nor 
an expensive undertaking to re- 
store our soils to balance," says 
Dr. Northen. "Any competent 
soil chemist can tell you how to 
proceed. First determine by an- 
alysis the precise chemistry of 
any given soil, then correct the 
deficiencies by putting down the 
missing elements. The same care 

• should be used as in prescribing 
for a sick patient, for proportions 
are of vital importance. 

"A nutrition authority recent- 

* ly said, 'One sure way to end the 
American people's susceptibility 



to infection is to supply through- 
food a balanced ration of iron, 
copper and other metals. An or- 
ganism supplied with a diet ade- 
quate to, or preferably in excess 
of, all mineral requirements may 
so utilize these elements as to pro- 
duce immunity from infection 
quite beyond anything we are at 
present able to produce artificially. 
You can't make up the deficiency 
by using patent medicine.' 

"Happily, we're on our way to 
better health by returning to the 
soil the things we have stolen 
from it. The public can hasten the 
change by demanding quality in 
its food, insisting that health de- 
partments establish scientific stand- 
ards of nutritional value. The 
growers will quickly respond. They 
can put back those minerals al- 
most overnight. 

"It is simpler to cure sick soils 
than to cure sick people. Which 
shall we choose?" 



dKadtcals mio K^onservahves 

y~i Labor government in England started a wave for greater 
social security, for the abolition of slums, and a Conservative gov- 
ernment carried the policies further. It carried them, indeed, so 
far that it rebuilt England, and rehoused the nation; and the re- 
sult is that on November 2nd the British county elections turned 
in an overwhelmingly Conservative majority. For men and women 
who have security in their jobs and in their old age, who fear no 
humiliation of public charity if they are unemployed, who live in 
decent houses, and have gardens, become conservatives, having 
something to conserve. 

— Dorothy Thompson in N. Y. Herald tribune 



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The "Food of the Gods 
Comes True 



DR. O. W. Willcox has for some years been 
writing books about the new science of 
"Agrobiology," which makes possible enormous in- 
creases in productivity of the soil through new 
technical methods. Some of his predictions have 
been criticized, by Secretary Wallace among other 
people, as being excessive. Striking confirmation 
of Dr. Willcox's general theory now comes from 
California in the form of a report by Dr. W. F. 
Gericke, associate plant physiologist of the Uni- 
versity of California. Dr. Gericke has been grow- 
ing tomato plants fifteen feet high and tobacco 
twenty feet high. He has produced 217 tons of 
tomatoes per acre arid has grown 2,465 bushels of 
potatoes — against a United States average at pres- 
ent of 116 bushels. Many other vegetables have 
responded similarly, and striking results have also 
been achieved with flowers. 

Under Dr. Gericke's method, plants are not set 
into the earth at all. Shallow tanks are filled with 
a liquid composed of some ten chemicals, all of 
them readily available in commerce, and this liquid 
is heated by electricity or otherwise. Over the tanks 
is spread a wire screen covered with straw, excelsior 
or moss, in which the seeds are planted, thrusting 
their roots down into the liquid below. The growth 
takes place in unheated greenhouses or, in the 
proper season, out of doors. The products of this 
process are of high quality, and in the case of to- 
bacco it is possible to avoid the rankness that 
sometimes accompanies rapid growth under natural 
conditions. That this plan is not a toy of the labora- 
tory is shown by the fact that tomatoes produced 
under Dr. Gericke's method are now being sold on 
the California market, at normal prices and at a 
commercial profit. 

Forty years ago, H. G. Wells wrote a scientific 
romance, "The Food of the Gods," in which he 
predicted a development of this sort, which changed 
the whole structure of society. He may yet live to 
sec his prediction come true, for possibilities of 



these new agricultural techniques seem almost 
boundless. Already we are hearing stories of an 
occasional scientist who is said to grow a year's sup- 
ply of potatoes for a large family in a tin pan under 
the kitchen table. It is possible to envisage all the 
vegetable foods for a huge New York apartment 
house being produced in a small space on the roof 
— unless, indeed, food became so cheap and so easy 
to produce that everyone moved to the country. 
There is as a matter of fact no especial reason why 
we should not have skyscraper farms, on which the 
rows of shallow pans would be stacked one above 
the other to a height of a hundred — or a thousand 
— feet, and reached by elevators. What such a 
development would do to 5,000,000 farm families, 
and to the millions of other persons who get their 
livelihood from the present agricultural economy, is 
a vista as exciting as it is terrifying. Certainly, the 
California experiments bring us one step nearer to 
that famous "economy of abundance," and make it 
still more absurd that millions of people should 
continue to go hungry. 



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TOMATOES GROWN 
„ IN TANKS OF WATER 

No Soil Used, bat Chemicals Aid 

'Caltare' and It Is All for 

Experimental Parposes 

WOOSTER, Ohio, May 1 UP).- 
Rows of hardy green tomato plants 
nod sleepily in long wooden tanks 
through which clear water slowly 
churns. Their clean roots spread 
over the bottom of the tank. Not 
an ounce of earth is in evidence. 

It is Spring outside, but in the 
greenhouse of the Ohio State Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station Sum- 
mer has come. 

Dr. L. J. Alexander, associate 
plant pathologist, discussed water 
culture, the scientifically valuable 
method whereby experts hope to 
learn exactly what makes plants 
grow. 

Water culture, he said, is the 
ideal means of "putting plants on a 
diet," and thereby learning which 
elements help and which hinder 
their development. 

Although there is hope, there is 
no immediate prospect of the sys- 
tem becoming a commercial suc- 
cess, he warned, despite countless 
inquiries received from persons 
who would like to start a truck 
farm in a tub of water. 

Water culture, he explained, is 
the growing of plants in water to 
which chemicals are added. He 
hopes to make findings which may 
help convert barren fields into pro- 
ductive acres. 

The essential chemicals of the 
process are calcium, potassium, 
phosphorus, nitrogen, sulphur, 
manganese, boron, zinc, copper and 
iron. Some others in minute traces 
may be valuable. These elements 
are dissolved in the water, and the 
plant "steps right along" as if 
raised in the earth. Plants are 
supported in trays above the water 
and the roots reach into the solu- 
tion. 



Good Ideas 

After having my lettuce, peas and broc- 
coli entirely devoured by a too friendly 
deer, I made some tiny bags of old mus- 
1 lin and cheesecloth about two by four 
1 inches in size. In each I placed three or 
j four moth balls and tied them up with a 
i twin string leaving six inches after tying. 
1 1 took these bags to the garden and tied 
s them to bushes, trees, the fence or even 
I to a few tall hills of corn that stood near 
the smaller things. We often saw the 
deer walking through the meadow after 
»that but they never came near my garden. 



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WEED CONTROL URGED 

Loss to Farmers by Plant Pest 
Ranks Next to Soil Erosion 

URBAXA, in. UP).— Weeds are 

responsible for greater loss to farm- 
ers than destruction caused by ani- 
mal diseases, plant diseases and in- 
sects, rodents and predatory ani- 
mals, the annual meeting of the 
American Society of Agricultural 
Engineering was told recently. 
Of thirty important items of farm 
; waste, the report of the society's 
weed control committee said, soil 
; erosion ranks first and weeds sec- 
] ond. It added weeds levy in one 
or another an annual tax of 
about $3,000,000,000 in the United 

The committee urged agricultural 
neers to contribute to the de- 
nment of equipment necessary 
the battle to control weeds, add- 
that few people realize the bur- 
weeds bring to agricultural 
production. 




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Sundial Construction Explained 
Directions for the construction of 
sundials, tables for the equations 
of time, and mottoes are given in 
Sundials, a Bureau of Standards 
publication. 







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New Brand of Control 

Tray Farming' May Be Answer 
to Problems in Rural Sections 

Researcher in New York Plant Institute Demon- 
strates Practicality of Chemical Tank Solutions 



LAKE SHENAROCK, N. Y.— In 
a little sunny patch of ground 
beside a modest bungalow up 
here in the country fifty miles 
north of New York city, Dr. 
Gould Harrold, associate of the 
Boyce Thompson Institute for 
Plant Research, is growing to- 



For tomatoes — the produce 
now growing at Shenarock — 
"tray agriculture" is a success. 
Dr. Harrold has ten tanks in use. 
They fit into his small "side 
yard." In two or three of them, 
they have been making special 
tests. The plants even in these 
look as flourishing as ordinary 
tomato plants. But in the ma- 



matoes in trays, their roots^ not I jority of tanks, where a proved 

chemical formula and technique 
are in use, the results are ex- 
traordinary. 

This is the station's first sea- 
son. While its work is still experi- 
mental, perfect tomatoe are al- 
ready being grown in exceptional 
abundance, for a very low price, 
and without the hard labor, 
equipment, or expense of ordi- 
nary farming. 

Vines are sturdy, high, and 
heavy with foliage. They are 
set much closer together than in 
ordinary garden culture. The 
clusters of tomatoes are bounti- 
ful, giving definitely more than 
the normal yield. The tomatoes 
themselves are vivid in color, firm 
and meaty in texture, with plenty 
of juice but no wateryness. Their 
flavor is rich, sweet, refreshing, 
in fact, literally perfect. 

"Tray agriculture" is young 
but the prinicples on which it is 
based are old. Almost 80 years 
ago an American chemist, Dr. 
Julian von Sachs, listed the chem- 
ical elements a plant requires 
to grow. Supply those elements 
under proper conditions, the 
theory ran. and plants would 
sprout and flourish. 

Recently various efforts to sup- 
ply the necessary nutrition to 
seeds or roots of flowers and veg- 
etables by artificial means in- 
stead of through the soil have 



in the soil but in tanks contain- 
ing a chemical solution. 

It is a practical demonstration 
of one of that small cluster of 
modern inventions which the 
National Resources Committee, 
in its recent spectacular report 
to President Roosevelt, predicted 
was capable of radically chang- 
ing the entire complexion of 
American civilization. 

Is "tray agriculture" the an- 
swer to the Dust Bowl? Is it the 
"out" for whole classes of Amer- 
icans, capable of making them 
healthy, independent if not 
wealthy, wise, and sun-tanned, 
like a sort of sublimated "Town- 
send Plan" applied to agricul- 
ture, with the benefit of being 
practical? Does it offer a real 
permanent improvement in costs 
and conditions of living? And 
will it take the headache and 
the backache, the heavy invest- 
ment and the poor return, the 
long hours and the insecurity 
out of some kinds of farming, 
on a national scale? 
EXPERIMENT WITH 
TOMATOES SUCCEEDS 

Here at Shenarock, Dr. Har- 
rold will not answer those ques- i 
tions. It is too early, and the 
experiment is too modest. But 
he and Dr. John M. Arthur, fa- 
mous biochemist at the Boyce 
Thompson Institute, who is su- 
pervising the work, are thinking 
In those terms. 



been tried. One system sur- 
rounded roots with sand in a 
flower pot and furnished the 
chemical elements by a drip ar- 
rangement from a tank. Another 

system worked by inserting roots 
into holes bored in wood, floating 
on the chemical solution. These 
seemed fairly cumbersome and 
expensive in practice. Then 
science hit upon the method now 
being developed in Shenarock, 
with excellent prospects of prac- 
tical success. 

Since Dr. Harrold is a tomato 
expert, tomatoes were chosen 
for the test. For tomatoes, 
watertight cypress tanks were 
built, 12 feet long, a foot wide, a 
foot deep. Above these were 
placed movable trays, the same 
dimensions as the tanks except 
that they were only four inches 
high, with a bottom of chicken 
wire. 

It is the chicken wire — an es- 
sential contribution made by the 
celebrated Professor W. F. Ger- 
icke of the University of Califor- 
nia, pioneer of tray agriculture— 
which makes this type of water 
culture practicable. A layer of 
excelsior an inch deep covers the 
chicken wire, and above that a 
layer of shavings 3 inches deep. 

Tomato plants meanwhile were 
grown from seeds in a seed tray 
by ordinary soil methods, either 
in a hot house or a cold frame. 
When the plants had almost 
reached their blossoming time, 
they were transplanted to the 
trays. Their roots were inserted 
through the shavings and excel- 
sior into the tank, being careful 
to leave an air space between 
chicken-wire and liquid surface. 
The plants were spaced a foot 
apart in length down the tra3f 
and six inches apart in width. 
That gave 24 plants to each tray. 
The average space between toma- 
to vines in field cultivation is be- 
tween three and four feet. 

SOLUTIONS STILL 
UNDER EXPERIMENT 

The solution in which the 
plant roots were placed had as 
base 62 gallons of water to a 
tank, practically filling it. The 
rest of the elements filled a mere 
quart mason jar to be poured in 
each time. Others are added in 
minute doses with an eye-drop- 
per. The chemical compounds 
used were: Sulphuric acid, nitric 



acid, phosphoric acid (the.se 
three in the largest proportions) 
| potassium hydroxide, ammonium 
hydroxide, calcium oxide, and 
magnesium oxide. 

Tiny doses of "tonic" were 
added to this mixture with the 
eye-dropper— a few drops of man- 
ganese, boron, copper, zinc and 
iron. 

A wonderful thing happened 
next (within four or five davs 
of planting in the tanks). The 
plants' ground roots, eauiooed to 
suck nourishment from soil but 
less adapted to liauids. dwindled 
and rotted off. In their place 
appeared water roots. Transfor- 
mation of the tomato from a 
soil-growing plant was complet- 
ed. 

Now at full growth, clusters 
of water roots have spread rich- 
ly and grown far down into the 
tanks. They even appear in the 
damp shavings and excelsior. 
The vines are firmly anchored 
in the chicken wire, although 
they require support above as in 
ordinary cultivation. 

The only change in the fruit 
itself is in its perfection. There 
were practically no blights or 
diseases to affect it adversely 
And nature has helped it along 
through a wonderful quality 
which Dr. Harrold picturesquely 



This is 
having 



calls a "cafeteria idea.' 
the faculty of plants, . 
available all the various elements 
they want for growing, to select 
and use exactly what they need 
in exactly the right proportions 






ir* 



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Gov u/*^r itj*^ *jc 



Where Chemicals Replace Earth 




Results of the "tray agriculture" tests at Lake Shenarock— Dr. 
Gould Harrold displays roots of tomato plants (the tray has been 
tipped up to show how the roots grow down into the chemical 
tanks), while thick clustering tomatoes hang heavy on the plants. 






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Soil-less Garden Successful 



ity of producing potatoi 



Possibility of producing potatoes^ 
at the rate of nearly 3000 bushels 
to the acre and clusters of tomatoes 
weighing 11 or 12 pounds, valued at 
$50,000 per acre, and other vegetables 
in like unbelievable quantities is 
foretold by a new process of soil-less 
cultivation in tanks of water, chem- 
ically treated. 

Pictures of experiments made in 
the past year in his small green- 
house in Berkeley, Cal., shown by 
Arthur C. Pillsbury, a former resi- 
dent of Medford, Mass., awed and 
amazed a large audience attending 
the lecture given recently in John 
Hancock Hall, under the auspices 
of the Chestnut Hill Garden Club. 
Mrs. William Eller^ Is president of 
this club, which was the first to 
present Mr. Pillsbury to a Boston 
audience this season. 

Mr. Pillsbury, a scientist who has 
long been noted for his remarkable 
motion pictures showing the growth 
and blooming of plants, the mar- 
velous unfolding and closing again 
of the petals of a flower, the cir- 
culatory system of vegetation and 
the polinization by Insects, has now 
experimented with other phases of 
horticulture that are revolutionary. 

His 16 by 36-foot greenhouse in 
Berkeley is fitted up with many 
horizontal tanks, which are about 
3 by 4 feet in size and 6 inches deep, 
each holding about 25 gallons of 
water. They are lined with asphalt 
paper and covered with coarse wire 
netting. On top of this he uses ex- 



celsior. straw, shavings or almost 
anything that will give support to 
the plant and prevent the seeds 
from falling into the water of the 
reservoir below. 

In motion pictures, he showed the 
planting of small sections of po- 
tatoes in this excelsior, and later 
the plants growing to amazing 
heights. He pictured beans sprout- 
ing, the roots shooting downward, 
and the tops pushing up, and later, 
gathering the beans in a basket. 
His corn grew luxuriantly to the 
ceiling, 11 feet high, across the 
greenhouse, and down, and aver- 
aged three ears to the stalk. In the 
open air, he explained, the vege- 
tables would have surpassed their 
record indoors. From one of his 
tanks alone he harvested 123 pounds 
of potatoes. 

Tomato vines grew 15 feet tall, 
and produced crops over an ex- 
tended period. No hoeing, no weed- 
ing and no hard work were in- 
volved in this very modern method 
of growing vegetables, after the 
greenhouse with its tanks was com- 
pleted. The chemicals used in- 
cluded calcium nitrate, magnesium 
sulphate, hydrogen phosphate, po- 
tassium nitrate, sulphuric acid, 
nitric acid, phosphoric acid, mag- 
nesium phosphate, calcium sul- 
phate, borax, ammonium chloride 
and boric acid. Solutions already 
mixed are obtainable at reasonable 
cost from one of the commercial 
firms. 



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Electrical Floriculture 






Condensed from Scientific American 
Lawrence C. Porter 

Illuminating Engineer, General Electric Company 



RECENT RESEARCH has shown 
that the blooming times 
l of plants is controlled 
largely by the total number of 
hours of light rather than by the 
intensity of the light. For ex- 
ample, plants which bloom in the 
spring and fall do so because in 
their natural environment they 
receive about eight hours of sun- 
light. Those which flower in the 
middle of summer do so because 
they have a total of 14 to 16 hours 
of light. Plants which normally 
bloom in the middle of summer 
can be made to bloom in the 
spring, or even in the winter, by 
supplementing the normal day- 
light with five or six hours of arti- 
ficial light. 

In the past it has been neces- 
sary to keep plants in the home 
close to windows in order that 
they may have sufficient light to 
grow. The success of supple- 
mental lighting in greenhouses 
led to the development of plant 
light fixtures for use in the home. 
These consist of conventional 
types of floor or table lamps, ex- 
cept that higher wattage bulbs 
are used and flower pots have 
been attached to the fixtures. In 
these combination flower stands 
and lamps it is necessary to burn 



the lamps only during the hours 
they would ordinarily be needed 
for general lighting purposes, 
namely from dusk until bedtime. 

The value of supplemental 
lighting is demonstrated at the 
Santa Clara Ranch in California 
where botanists are developing 
new varieties of plants. Before 
supplemental lighting was used 
this process took from three and a 
half to five years, as the plants 
had to be grown from seed, cross- 
pollinated, and several crops 
raised. Since artificial light and 
soil heating cables were installed 
to speed up the growth of the 
plants, this time has been cut 
approximately in half. 

In greenhouses, flashing lamps 
that go on for five seconds and 
then off for a corresponding pe- 
riod, have an effect on the plants 
quite comparable to that of con- 
tinuous light, while cutting the 
current consumption and lamp 
renewals nearly in half. No matter 
what type of lamps are used they 
shcfuld be equipped with efficient 
reflectors to concentrate as much 
of the light as possible on the 
plants. 

Another interesting develop- 
ment is being carried on at the 
University of California where 



igj6, Munn & Co., Inc., 24 W. 40 St., X. T. C. 
{Scientific American, March, 'j6) 






I HI R FADER'S DIGEST 



plants are 1 wn without 

tubers are placed 

in a layer of straw held 00 wire 
netting at the su tank of 

ter which contains chemical 
nutrients, the roots going down 
into th; his means a 

much h rop of | 

has been raised than has been 
possible when the potatoes are 
grown by the usual method in soil. 

Several of the universities have 
been studying the possibility of 
growing plants in sand, furnishing 
the nourishment by means of 
liquid nutrients. 

Perhaps the most interesting 
greenhouse development was last 
*s experiment at the Boycc 
mpson Institute for Plant 
R .arch. There a greenhouse 
was constructed in which the 
walls, floor, and halt of the roof 
were made of heat insulating 
material. There was a single row 
of glass sash in one side of the 
roof. This sash was set so as to 
admit the maximum amount of 
sunlight and the interior was 
painted white to reflect all pos- 
sible light back on the plants, 
only heat was generated 
by 500-watt lamps, used for 
supplemental lighting on the 
plants. These Ian thermo- 

statically controlled. It was found 
tha: during the coldest 



weather an even temperature 
of 68 degrees F. could be main- 
tained when the sun was shining. 
On cloudy days the lamps burned 
occasionally and during the night 
they were off and on for periods 
totaling approximately six hours 
per night. 

This experiment may revolu- 
tionize greenhouse construction. 
The results obtained were re- 
markable. Larger and better plants 
were grown than was possible in 
the conventional type of all-glass 
greenhouse. The plants in the 
heat-insulated house came into 
bloom in some cases eight weeks 
ahead of the controls in an ordi- 
nary type of greenhouse. It may 
be entirely practical to build 
greenhouses several stories high, 
greenhouses inexpensive to build 
and to operate. Then, too, small 
private greenhouses, fabricated 
at the factory, may be easily 
erected, at low cost, since there is 
no heating equipment to purchase 
and maintain. A result of the in- 
sulation is a higher humidity, 
with less watering of the plants. 
With thermostatic control of the 
temperature and ventilation, a 
house of this sort would be almost 
entirely automatic in operation, 
and there are already two con- 
cerns prepared to furnish such 
greenhouses. 



1 rom readers arc welcomed for "Patter" and "Toward a 
' cturcaque Speech." Sucb contributions cannot be acknowledged or returned. 
• ment of I3 is made, upon publication, to the first contributor of each 
accepted item. In all cases, the source must be given. 







*o* U *S* 




•<< 



The Garden Notebook 

(Keeping the Garden Accessories in Condition) 

========== By Alfred Putz ============ 



WINUK CARE. OF 6AR0EN TOOLS 

25 



HOMt MAOE 
WIRE HANGER 
FOR NOWER 



l/ yvpvvvt) 




Good tools not only la§t longer Mian cheap ones but also/ia'better work 
and lessen the task to be done. They usually are worth the higher cost and 
deserve special care at all times. After cleaning up the garden in the fall 
most owners place their tools in some out-of-the-way place and forget about 
them until they are needed again in<*> ■ 



the spring. But spring is not far away 
and now is a good time to look them 
over and put them in working con- 
dition. 

While garden tools should be kept 
clean at all times, it is particularly im- 
portant to give them a thorough clean- 
ing now. Remove all dirtr which may 



still be adhering, washing in water if 
necessary and scrubbing briskly with 
a stiff brush. Metal parts must be 
scoured with a stiff wire brush to re- 
move rust. The actual working parts 
should be as bright and shining as they 
were when new. 



Handles May Be Painted 

Sand paper, emery paper, or emery 
powder mixed with thin oil, will be 
useful in cleaning the upper and lower 
surfaces of such tools as spades, spad- 
ing forks, trowels and hoes. When the 
rust has been removed, oil or grease 
the bright surfaces to prevent or at 
least retard further accumulation of 
rust. Wooden handles which are wear- 
ing out should be replaced. Those 
that have begun to splinter can be 
smoothed with sand paper. To give 
them a neat finish you might paint 
them a bright color. This will make 
it easy to find them when left lying 
around the beds or borders during the 
coming season. Your neighbors who 
may call on you to borrow tools will 
also find the bright and distinctive col- 
ors a strong reminder to return them 
to you without delay. 

Shears of all types should be 
thoroughly cleaned, overhauled and 
sharpened. If you are handy with 
tools you may do the work yourself, 
otherwise place them in the hands of 
a competent repair man. Before they 
are put in a dry-storage box give them 
a thin coating of rust -resistant oil. 

The lawn mower should also come 
in for its share of attention. A 
thorough overhauling is needed at 
least once a year. Sharpening the 
blades of a mower so that they are 
true and cut properly with the least 
expenditure of energy is a Job for an 
expert. Have him take the mower 
apart for cleaning and inspection of 
all bearings, and ask him to oil all 
parts after cleaning them. Pruning 
saws should also be placed in the 
hands of a competent man for setting 

and sharpening of the teeth unless 
you know how to do this work yourself. 

Few garden accessories are subjected 
to as much abuse as the wheelbarrow. 
Often it is left outdoors all during the 
year because of its awkward size. That 
is the more reason why it deserves a 
thorough overhauling at this time. 
Clean It thoroughly, tighten all bolts, 
replace wornout boards or fasten down 
those that have become loose. Give 
the wooden parts two coats of good 
paint and grease the axle bearing with 
a heavy lubricant that will stay in 
place. 

To keep the wheelbarrow out of 
th» way you may suspend it from the 
rafters of the garage or dry cellar. 



I The lawnmower is also easy to keep 
out of the way by hanging it up. Two 
i stout pieces of wire make a good 
, hanger. At one end of each wire make 
a large round loop that will slip over 
the handlebars of the mower. Small 
loops at the other ends are run through 
a steel ring that is placed over a 
strong nail. Such a hanger will be 
found exceptionally handy through- 
out the year to keep the mower out 
of the way when not in use. 

Preserving Spray Equipment 

One of the most disappointing fac- 
tors which will confront many garden- 
ers next summer concerns the various 
types of spraying equipment. While 
they were in perfect working order 
when last used, many of them will fail 
to function. The ordinary type of 
hand-sprayer will need taking apart 
and cleaning. Remove the pump and 
examine the leather washer on which 
the proper force of action depends. If 
this has softened or hardened exces- 
sively replace it with a new one. If it 
is still firm and pliable give a good ap- 
plication of oil to preserve its elasticity. 
After replacing the pump work it a few 
times until the washer seals the pump. 
Sprayers which have rubber hose at- 
tachments must be examined for the 
condition of the rubber and a tight fit 
at the pump and nozzle ends. Washers 
which look worn or are soft should be 
replaced and the nozzle thoroughly 
cleansed of all foreign substances. 

The garden hose is another much 
mistreated object. Of course, it should 
have been placed under shelter before j 
winter set in and all water should' 
have been drained from it. A hose reel 
is almost indispensable to protect the 
hose from sharp bends which are 
bound to ruin it within a short time. 
In rolling it up prevent undue strain 
on the rubber and fabric by stretching 
it. It should be loosely rolled to keep 
its round shape. 

If you have several lengths of garden 
hose, examine the couplings to make 
sue they hold the hose end firmly. 
Also replace all old washers between 
the couplings with new ones of fresh, 
live rubber. Dusters with leather bel- 
lows may need a little leather dressing 
to preserve their pliability. Even the 
watering can should be spruced up by 
cleaning it thoroughly inside and out 
and giving it a coat of paint on the 
outside. 

Plant stakes that were gathered last 
fall will need sorting over for those 



that will serve another year. A coat 
of green paint will add to their lasting 
quality and make them less conspicu- 
ous in the garden. Seed boxes and 
seed pans will also come in now for a 
cleaning up, as they will soon be 
needed. Pruning knives always must 
be extra sharp. You will find that use 
of the extra fine grade (not the usual 
fine) carborundum stone, followed by a 
honing on a hard Arkansas oil stone or 
any good hone, will give the knife a 
razor-sharp edge that makes pruning 
a pleasure. 



SUBSTI TUTES F OR MANURE 

Experience Reveals Satisfactory Soil 
Enrichers to Take Its Place 



By E. L. D. SEYMOUR. 

WITH the ever increasing 
difficulty of obtaining that 
old garden stand-by— 
"good, thoroughly decom- 
posed barnyard manure"— garden- 
ers are becoming more and more 
intensely interested in discovering 
what may best be employed as a 
really satisfactory substitute for it. 
Despite the skepticism of some 
old-timers and horticultural die- 
hards, such substitutes have been 
discovered. For many years the 
agricultural experiment stations 
have been working on them— for the 

problem of finding manure substi- 
tutes, since the advent of the tractor 
and the concentration of the dairy 
industry in the hands of specialists, 
has become quite as acute for many 
farmers as it has for the small- 
place owner. 

As there is usually much planting 
to be done in the Fall, many gar- 
deners begin in midsummer to pre- 
pare in advance their supplies of 
substitute manures of some sort, 
so that all may be in readiness 
when planting time comes. 

What Does Manure Provide? 

But before one can intelligently 
provide a substitute for manure he 
must, of course, have a definite 
idea of the function of manure 
in aiding plant growth. Just what 
is it that gives manure its unques- 
tioned soil-building qualities? 



The chemist's analysis of a short 
ton— 2,000 pounds— of well rotted 
barnyard manure reveals that it is 
made up of 1,500 pounds of water 
and 500 pounds of dry matter. This 
500 pounds of dry matter contain- 
approximately 10 pounds of nitro- 
gen, 5 of phosphoric acid, 13 of 
potash. 8 of lime and 5 of sulphur— 
a total of 41 pounds of chemicals 
—plus 459 pounds of organic mat- 
ter, or "humus." In addition, it 
contains a supply of certain bac- 
teria and other microscopic organ- 
isms which are essential in effect- 
ing changes in the soil— the "break- 
ing down" of chemical compounds 
existing in the soil into simpler 
and more soluble forms. 

In other words, manure is so 
valuable in gardening because it 
provides, combined in this one sub- 
stance, three distinct soil aids: 
first, email amounts of the main 
plant food elements (nitrogen, 
phosphoric acid and potash) and 
also of lime (not a food element 



but a "digestion accelerator" in 
the plant's diet); second, a supply 
of humus or organic matter which 
helps to change any uncongenial 
unresponsive soil into moisture- 
holding, friable, productive loam- 
and, thirdly, an active, thriving 
population of bacteria beneficial 
to plant feeding and plant growth 



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Amazing 
new book 



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«$>^ 



By D. R. Matlln, M.A. 
Chemical Publishing Company of N. Y., Inc. 
$2 at leading book tellers — See ad in Garden Section 



They Ask Me . . . 

B. G., Aurora, III, looks for a book 
on herbs called "Magic Fragrance,' 
by Mrs. Clarkson. I keep on hand and 
reasonably up to date a list of herb 
books— it will be sent to any one in- 
i terested— but this one is not on it 
I and I would be glad to know about it. 
; The latest additions to this list, by 
the way, are two of the most alluring 
garden books you would want to own: 
"Old-Time Herbs for Northern Gar- 
dens," by Minnie Watson Kamm 
(Little, Brown), illustrated with 
lovely little outline drawings and fine 
photographs and giving history and 
directions for growing and use, and 
"Herbal Delights," by the celebrated 
authority, Mrs. C. F. Leyel (Hough- 
ton), whose esurient sub-title reads: 
"Tisanes, syrups, confections, elec- 
tuaries, robs, juleps, vinegars and 
conserves" — words fit to rouse fury in 
anybody on a strict diet. 

EASY to ~ wx 
T EM YOUR SOIL 

In ten "fnroutes' time, this easy-to-use 
kit will give you just the soil informa- 
tion that you need to lay out an 
intelligent fertilizing program. New 
larger model makes 20 individual 
tests for nitrogen, phosphorus, potash 
and acidity. Made by the same lab- 
oratories which manufacture most of 
the field resting equipment used by 
government stations and professional 
growers If your dealer does not 
carry it send $2 direct to Sudbury Soil 
Testing Laboratory, P. ©. Box 801, 
South Sudbury, Mass. 

AT YOUR SEED DEALER 



Complete with instruc- 
tions and data »w 
plant needs . ff% GfV 




\T 



wuru 
Toil Test kTts 



SOILLESS PLANT CULTURE 

SIMPLIFIED 



By ALEX LAURIE 



Ohio 



M' 



Professor of Floriculture 
State University 

UCH bewilderment has been 
expressed recently about 
the method of growing 
plants without soil. We 
have been taught that good "rich" 
soil was needed to grow plants sat- 
isfactorily. This "richness" implied 
the use of manure or other fer- 
tilizers to supply the needs of the 
plant. Considerable stress was and 
is still placed upon the necessity of 
organic matter or humus in the 
soil. All this is true. Then how 
can we attempt to grow plants 

without soil? 
I 
The answer involves no trickery. 

We can go back to the work of 
Woodward in 1699. He grew pep- 
permint in different water solu- 
tions. Since then a great deal of 
work has been done in the labo- 
ratory, where plants were grown 
and flowered and fruited in water 
or sand to which the necessary el- 
ements for plant growth were 
added. Actually, there is little dif- 
ference |>etween these old methods 
and the-\-hewest ones. In soil, the 
humus and the various bacteria or- 
ganisms and others make the 
various elements available to plants 
so that they may be absorbed by 
the roots. In water, sand or gravel, 
we use materials which are read- 
ily available so that the roots may 
absorb them. 

Anchoring the Plants 

One of the first difficulties to be 
overcome lay in the method of "an- 
choring" the plants when they were 
grown without soil. Since water by 
itself could not be used for the pur- 
pose, a scheme was devised in which 
a waterproof box was filled with 
water and the necessary elements of 
nutrition added. 

Because "of complicated difficul- 
ties we have come to the conclusion 
that in spite of the publicity given, 
a better^method is to substitute 
some c<|arse material, such as 
gravel or cinders, for the water. 
That enables us to keep the plants 
firmly rooted, solves the problem 
of support, gives us sufficient air 
and makes the process more feasi- 
ble and practical. 

Actually, how would one go about 



doing all this on a small scale in 
the home, the greenhouse or the 
garden? First, it is necessary to 
start the seedlings. A shallow box, a 
"flat," such as is used by florists, 
is filled with sand, and over this is 
poured a solution made by dissolv- 
ing one ounce of nitrophoska (15-30- 
15 fertilizer) in two gallons of 
water. The sand is thoroughly 
drenched with this solution, and the 
seed is then sown in the same man- 
ner as in soil. In a short time— as 
soon as the second set of leaves has 
been developed by the young plant— 
the seedlings will be ready to trans- 
plant to more permanent quarters. 

Permanent Quarters 

These permanent quarters may be 
a box of any size, about six inches 
deep, which is made waterproof by 
coating with asphalt paint ,not tar). 
One end of the box has an opening 
and a half-inch pipe or tube is in- 
serted into an inverted trough 
placed along the bottom, as shown 
in the diagram. Connected to this 
pipe by means of rubber tubing is 
a bucket large enough to hold a 
quantity of nutrient solution which 
will fill the box to within one 
of the top. The box itself may be 
filled with gravel or cinders, with 
individual particles of about one- 
fourth to one-half inch in si 

THie actual operation of fading 
consists of raising the bucket to a 
height above the level of the box, so 
that the solution will run into it by 
gravity. As soon as the box is filled 
the bucket is lowered and the solu- ; 
tion drains back into it. The solu- 



tion is used over and over again. 
! Tb^Hksiest way to figure the size 
of the bucket is to measureWthe 
cubic contents of the box and then 
take one-third of ■■ figure as the 
amount of solution needed. 

Our tests have indicated that this 
solution should be used about four 
or five times per day. 



HERBS AS PEST REPELLENTS 

■ - ■ 

v»3pPPr r*. 

Some Species Grown in Gardens Are Found 
To Discourage Troublesome Insects 



By FRANCES H. CURRAN 

Time has in no way diminished 
the infinite uses of herbs but has 
brought to light more applications 
and modern uses for these prac- 
tical and historical plant^. As long 
as maij can remember herbs have 
provided in manifold ways food, 
medicine and esthetic enjoyment. 
Recently another utilization has 
been discovered that should prove 
particularly interesting not only to 
professional horticulturists but to 
every amateur back-yard gardener. 

John Dukinfield and Carol Bar- 
rett, recognized authorities in this 
field, have found after several 
years of observation and research 
that a wise use of herbs will act 
as a deterrent to many* of the de- 
structive insects that work havoc 
in gardens. Even the Japanese 
beetle, against which gardeners 
and scieritols are constantly fight- 
ing, seem^to keep clear of their 
herb garden, which is situated in 
an area of Long Island infested 
with this pest. The owners at- 
tribute this mainly to the excessive 
vitality that characterizes herb life. 
Herbs Not Overbred 

"Destructive insects feed mostly 
on weak plants or those that have 
started in on a slow process of de- 
cay," Mr. Dukinfiejd observed. 
"Many of the plants to be found 
in modern gardens are so overly 
nurtured and highly bred through | 
incrossing that their natural vital- 
ity and powers of resistance are 
greatly weakened, leaving them 
easy prey to various kinds of in- 
sects, beetles, aphids and other 
parasites. Our forebears did not 
complain of such widespread insect 
invasion in their garde*fc though 
similar insects no doubt existed 
during that period. It seems rea- 
sonable to assume that these insects 
have found sufficient numbers of 
devitalized plants among the newer 
sorts— created by a desire for new 
: colors and bigger flowers— to en- 
able them to increase rapidly. 



"This is a theory that can open a 
great deal of discussion, but the 
fact remains that many kjflB of 
garden pests are now with^j^Hmd* 
something must be done about it 
if we wish to have healthy and bet- 
ter gardens as the seasons roll by. 

Herbs have been proving the ef- 
ficacy of their virtues and values 
for countless ages, so perhaps we 
have made our researches fer anti- 
dotes too far into scientific fields 
instead of realizing that nature prqN 
vides antidotes for all her poisons 
and ills, and it would therefore 
seem wiser to search for cause and 
effect along the paths of nature."- 
Herb Planting Advocated 

Mr. Dukinfield advises clients 
who complain of a great number of 
destructive insects in their garden* 
to plant borders of herbs around 
beds. Thyme, santolina and the. 
pungent .southernwood are often, 
effective m lessening infestation* 
Some gardeners believe that the 
castor-bean plant is helpful in keep- 
ing moles out of the garden. Mr. 
Dukinfield and Miss" Barrett have 
also blended a mixture of dried 
herbs that is very effective as a 
moth repellent. Pyrethrum, a me- 
dicinal herb of long standing, has 
been used as a base in the manu- 
facture of some of the best known 
commercial insecticides for many 
years and is widely recognl^d as of 
value in the Pharmacopoeia of the" 
United States. 

Other herbs with insect-repelling 
qualities are blessed thistle, hyffi 
sops, both pink and white, sweet 
marjoram, lavender and Winter 1 
savory— all vital, pungent and 
healthy in growth. 

"Also try the simple experiment 
of placing sprigs of fresh mint, 
preferably spearmint or julep mint, 
near ant .runs and watch the ants 
turn away from it," Mr. Dukinfield 
suggests. "These facts point the 
way to herbs that have for ages 
past been used as insect repellents, 
so that a further and modified use 



seems logical and practical in re- 
tarding the annual invasion Hou* 
gardens." 

Mr. Dukinfield finds that some, 
varieties of herbs are naturally 
more effective than others in dis- 
couraging pests, and he is contin* 
ually experimenting to confirm his 
opinions. He and his partner are 
designing a special herb garden for; 
the "Gardens «b Parade" at the 
World's Fair in 1939, and hope by 
that time to have further announce- 
ments concerning modern uses of 
herbs. 



Goal 01 juoq unemists 

What is expected of German sci- 
ence is clear enough. Some way 
must' be found to stretch- the ef- 
cy of vegetable albumen', with- 
out depriving industry of necJjsary 
raw materials. So we fin<f^ the 
chemists busily at work. (jflffman 
science sees salvation in yeast. In 
the dry state it contains from 50 to 
55 per cent aLbumen and 8 per cent 
ash. Grow yeast— its cells multiply 
rapidly— and albumen is produced. 
What is more, yeast can form albu- 
men out of non-albumen. Pasteur 
and Duclaux showed that long 
i ago. In Germany yeast was culti- 
i vated on a huge scale with the aid 
of watered molasses to which 
nitrogenous salts>had been added. 

In other words, yeast obligingly 
made albumen (protein or edible 
nitrogen) out of minerals that con 
tained nitrogen. The process died, 
industrially speaking, because it 
could not compete in time of peace 
with cottonseed cakes for cattle or, 
soy bean in various forms. 

Germany is returning to this 
abandoned yeast process and trying 
to increase its economic efficacy. 
Today wood is converted inttftMgar, 
which is, in turn, dissolved OT water 
'as a substitute for molasses) and 
d to yeast. Economic success has 
' v,oo n attained. 



j , Mi^ 41 ^ 



Cape Codder Makes Big 
In WaterfGrown Tdmato 



T^ 




Woodward Employs 
Chemical Solution at 
Hyannis Greenhouse 

By Bernard Peterson 

A $2400 tomato crop at a $400 
production cost, without hard 
work or backache, is Cape Cod's 
entering wedge into the new era 
of soilless agriculture. 

W. L. Woodward, a resourceful 
chemical engine^; has already 
harvested an experimental crop 
and is speeding his second crop 
toward maturity without the use 
of soil in his greenhouse at Bass 
River, Hyannis, and he declared 
today that waterculture will be 
generally adopted within ten 
years. 

"You have demonstrated with 
magnificent plants that toma- 
toes can be grown in water. 
Are you willing to say that your 
undertaking is economically 
sound and profitable ?" I asked 
Mr. Woodward. 

He replied, "You can grow al- 
most any other crop by this 
method, and my conviction is 
that any : ' grower who doesn't 
adopt it is going to get lost in 
the shuffle in ten years. I 
wouldn't think of doing it any 
other way. 

"You inquire about the eco- 
nomics. The original cost of the 
greenhouse and equipment was 
$4000; I now have a durable 
building; growing in there today 
are 8000 perfect, flawless plants. 
I expect to pick 6000 pounds of 
ripe tomatoes in January, Feb- 
ruary and March and sell them., 
at 40 cents a pound, wholesale. 
That will yield $2400, ajjd the 
total cost of production will 
have been $400. Then, I will 
pick up about $400 more in the 
summer,- so that my net will be 
$2400." ** . 

This is the first commercial 
enterprise of its kind reported in 
Massachusetts. A number of 
persons are known to be testing 
the prfhcipl^of waterculture 
here. One eflPbfcnent was car- 
ried out at the^altham Field 
Station. 



The Woodward greenhouse 
looks like any other greenhouse; 
bjBpstead of soil long water- 
filled vats line the building. 
Resting on them are shallow 
boxes with chicken-wire bottoms 
spread over the wire is a layer 
of excelsior. Small tomato plants 
grown elsewhere, in soil, are in- 
serted through tl$e excelsior and 
wire so that the roots touch the 
water. Then the excelsior is 
pushed close up to the stem to 
support it. Later the plant is 
tied with strings from the ceil- 
ing. 

Growth is stimulated by cer- 
tain chemicals added to the 
water. Mr. Woodward went to 
the University of California to 
learn about this process ar 
get the formula for the gro^R- 
solution; but he has departed 
considerably from the California 
technique. 

"Do you employ different 
chemical solutions for different 
kinds of vegetables?" 

"No. You can use the same 
formula for all plants. And in 
ten minutes I can show anyone 
what to use." 

"How expensive are the chemi- 
cals?" 

"They cost me $35 a year for 
8000 plants." 



Vines are unusually sturdy, 
high and heavy and can be kept 
alive and productive over a long 
period, but Mr. Woodward said 
that he^will permit his plants to 
rise only to nine feet, because of 
the difficulties in picking at 
higher levels. The growth can 
be shortened three weeks with 
waterculture. Among the chem- 
icals useful in such solutions are 
sulphuric acid, nitric acid, phos- 
phoric atfW, potassium, hydrox- 
ide, ammonium hydroxide, calci- 
um oxide and magnesium oxide. 

Even hormones are used by 
Mr. Woodward as a little extra 
tonic, because it promotes root' 
growth. 



"Reinforcing" the Compost 

For example, 6 pounds of ammo- 
nia sulphate, 3 of superphojohate, 
2V% of muriate of potash anV 5 of 
pulverized limestone could be com- 
bined and sprinkled on at the rate 
of a pound or a pint for every 4 
cubic feet of sand and compost. 
Thus a pit 2 by 4 feet would require 
2 pounds, or a quart. These quanti- 
ties would be enough for more than 
a single pile. Any additional 
amounts of these fertilizers^ or of 
a mixture of them, may be^jpsed in 
the garden or stored for another 
year; or they may be shared with 
neighboring gardeners. Seedsmen 




JTTJNGS! 

. Chiiper 



NOW GROW REAL 
ROOTS ON CU 

Faster • Surer 

with AUXILIN 

77ie M/rac/e Root Grower 



Even difficult cuttings from plants, shrubs, 
trees root easily, quickly when Auxilin 
treated. (See photograph of American 
Holly rooted in 6 weeks.) You get more ; 
roots— and largerS^No special skill or 
equipment needed. 1 Complete with grad- 
uated phial and full directions. Sold at 
seed and department stores everywhere. 
*n .pun r/\n rncr descriptive booklet, or | 
OR— SEND FOR FREE 5 0e for I 6 or bottle; 
III trsat up to 600 euttlngi ! Sent postpaid. Write 
f. T-l. Pennsylvania Chemical Corp.. 
New Jersey. ^ ± 



will treat 
• Oep 



ft All -Year- Around 
r Sox 



BIO-DYNAMIC FARMING & GARDENING 
g -SOIL FERTILITY, RENEWAL "^ f 
AND PRESERVATION 

By Ehr en fried Pfeiffer. Price 10s. 6d. 

Everyone interested in gardening or agriculture should know of the 
Bio-Dynamic Method of soil fertilisation and crop production. 

It was originated by Rudolf Steiner, and striking evidence of its value 
may be seen on the Continent and in the U.S.A. In Germany, for 
instance, though every other activity connected with the name of Rudolf 
Steiner is prohibited, the German Government makes an exception for 
hi^system of agriculture, and give important financial advantages be- 
of the special nutritive value of its produce. 



y 



The book, or further information, is obtainable from 



THE PUBLISHERS, 

THE RUDOLF STEINER BOOK CENTRE 8C PUBLISHING CO., 

54 BLOOMSBURY STREET., LONDON, W.C.I 




%3C C—JU-A 



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VEGETABLES D 
BY A NEWfRi 



Use of Sulphur Dioxide Holds 

Promise of Easing Nation's 

Surplus Crop Problem 



OLD HANDICAPS OVERCOME 

Flavors Preserved by Method 

That Gives Starch Industry 

a Year-Round Activity 

Aided by the Chemical Founda- 
tion and the Department of Agri- 
culture, Dr. E. F. Hopkins, assist- 
ant professor in the New York 
State College of Agriculture, has 
developed at Laurel, Miss., a process 
which will make it possible to dry 
fleshy vegetables more effectively 
than ever before and to store them 
indefinitely. A$ one immediate re- 
sult of his work, factories that ex- 
tract starch from sweet potatoes 
can now operate the year round. 

Drying as a method of preserv- 
ing is old. It cannot be economi- 
cally carried out just. by spreading 
fruit or vegetables in the open air. 
Huge areas are required. Bad 
weather ruins the spreadings. 

Indoor drying with artificial heat 
brings about undesirable chemical 
changes. In sweet potatoes, for in- 
stance, starch is reduced to a sort 
of paste which is useless in starch 
making. In some vegetables a 
tough/ horny coating is formed 
which; is waterproof and which 
slows -ft the drying process. Some- 
times tne flavor is changed by heat. 
Above all, there is the cost of fuel. 
Advantages in Use of Vapors 

Heat has the great advantage of 
increasing the permeability of the 
plant tissues, so that the water can 
escape. The problem, then, was to 
discover a way of obtaining the 
same effect with no heat or little 
heat. Vapors and gases, >uch as 
Sther, chloroform, carbon tetra- 
chloride, chlorine and benzol, have 
•the desired properties. And they 
do not affect the plant chemically. 
Best of all these agents is sulphur 
dioxide. 



Seal vegetables in a jar with" 1 " 
chemical vapors by .way of experi- 
ment and tne juice leaks out of the 
cells. A vegetable thus treated re- 
semble a snowball that has been 
soakedin water. Relieved of the in- 
ternal pressure of the juice, the now 
permeable cells simply collapse. 
Beans, beets and potatoes become 
flabby and limp. 

Gassed, pressed green beans look 
like blades of coarse grass; beets 
like thin disks. They dry in air in 
about thirty-six hours, even two 
hours if the air is heated to only 
120 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Beets and string beans can be re- 
duced to 15 and 18 per cent of their 
weight respectively after they are 
pressed, and sweet potatoes to 
about 50 per cent. The juice is al- 
ways clear, which indicates that 
the plant tissue acts as a filter. 

This juice always has been a prob- 
lem to the manufacturer of potato 
starch. If it is not removed by 
drying it has a harmful influence 
on the manufacturing process. And 
when evaporated it is lost. Now 
it is not only possible to remove it 
but to collect it and turn it into a 

I valuable by-product. It consists 
largely of sugar. And sugar can 
readily be converted into alcohol. 

In actual practice Dr. Hopkins 
finds it best to grind up the veg- 
etables and then to turn on sulphur 
dioxide. Whereupon the pulp is 
put into a centrifugal separator 
and the juice whirled off like cream 
from milk. The remaining cake 
contains less than 40 per cent mois- 
ture and crumbles easily. A little 
more drying at low ^temperature 
and it can be stored indefinitely as 
it. is, or ground to a meal. 

The. sulphijr dioxide passes off in 
the. final drying. So" long as it is 
present there is no danger of rot- 
ting through fermentation. Nor is 
there any after drying. Thoroughly 
dried vegetables do not ferment. 

Boon to Starch Industry 

It is easy enough to imagine the 
consequences of Dr. Hopkins'! | 
work. Sweet potatoes must now be 
harvested and converted into starch 
in ninety days. When the season 
is over the factories have nothing 
to do. Theirt efficiency is low and 
the losses are large. 

Usually the potatoes are piled up 
in outdoor bins before the factory 
can grind them up. In that interval 
some of the starch is changed to 
sugar. There is also some rotting 
of potatoes in bad weather. With 
this new process there is no reason 
why a factory should not operate 
the yeajr round, drawing orr dried, 
stored,. -potato pulp or meal as it is 
wanted. 

Farmers gassing their vegetables, 
whirling them in centrifugal ma- 
chines, drying- the pulp in a shed 




low fire and hauling the pulp 
>me centred jTactory-the pros- 

Ibly holdAgjfte dried potato or 

Posslolv%r^ ^V^age <arm 
possibly the proceH may pUy a 

partfc solving th# surplus crofcind 
m «rerting culls and other 
mto values. ' 



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Pjay a 
rop^nd 

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